Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

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Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Sun May 21, 2017 10:01 pm

I recently took in 10 mice from a person who had just gotten them but quickly realized they couldn't handle them. They are all female. They came in a 40 gallon tank with a wheel, two little houses to sleep in, and some toys. One of the mice was acting weird and I took it to the vet to find she was sick. So, I separated her from the others into a small 20 gallon tank I had from previous pets and am medicating her. Well, the remainder of the mice have been having some squabbles lately and I've finally realized that some particular mice are beating up on a specific mouse. I asked the person I got them from, and it turns out that the victim mouse was just recently purchased after he had the others all together for a few months. So, I'm assuming that they're asserting dominance by bullying her, but today their fights turned bloody and now the new mouse has a bloody nose, and bite marks on her! I took her out immediately after I noticed the wounds and set her up in a pet carrier. And she was so exhausted from being bullied she just curled right up and slept. I feel so horrible for her, and my question is, how do I treat her wounds and how do I reintroduce her afterwards so that the poor baby isn't torn apart again? I'm new to mice but I'm determined to take proper care of them. I love every one of them already. Please help!
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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Sun May 21, 2017 10:22 pm

Hello! Sorry you've had such bad luck, and that's a lot of mice to take in all at once! It's great that you are helping them out and giving them a loving home! How bad are the wounds? If they get infected, she might need to go to the vet, but if they aren't very serious, you may be able to just let her be. Keep her cage nice and clean to avoid any infections. There is also a health packet here, with a tip on treating wounds with Neosporin Plus, just in case she seems to be uncomfortable:
The health packet wrote:Neosporin Plus®
This is good to have on hand in case one of your mice gets injured. Neosporin® will help prevent/kill infection as well as relieve pain (so long as you get Neosporin® with pain reliever). When applying it to wounds, make sure you rub it in well and always clean excess off. Your mouse will likely hate the first application, however, they generally learn to love it as they know it helps. Mice that have been treated with Neosporin® often lean into it as it soothes them. Apply Neosporin® 2+ times a day. Any open wound can become infected easily. See a vet for proper attention right away.

I've had a mouse bite another mouse on the foot. She healed up just fine, it only bled for a few seconds. I've also had a mouse bite another mouse on the tail, she too healed up great. It all depends on the seriousness of the wounds. Pictures might help, if you can get any!

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Sun May 21, 2017 10:29 pm

The wounds seem fairly serious, in my opinion. She has a bite just near the base of her tail, a couple on her feet, and around her genetalia -- which is what I'm most concerned about, that and the bloody nose. I'm going to apply a tad bit of Neosporin if she'll let me. Unfortunately I don't think photos are a possibility because she's still a bit nervous of me and I don't want to stress her out.

I've been doing some reading on this topic and it says that by separating her I may be making the aggression worse... I'd like to do what I can to help them all get along but I'm out of areas that I can separate the bullies into.

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Peachy on Sun May 21, 2017 10:44 pm

Many times large colonies will have troubles like this... throw in a new owner, new surroundings, and being untame and this isn't such a surprise. It's why we don't often recommend keeping more than 5-7 in one group.

Separating when blood is drawn is the right thing to do... When they're settling in and working out a hierarchy, separating them can make things worse. But if blood is drawn, they're not trying to work things out anymore and it becomes dangerous to leave her.

So while I would NOT toss her back in there, what I would do is observe for a few days and try to figure out who the calmest, friendliest, tamest girls are. Just watch them for a bit anf try to gauge their personalities. Then introduce them to the one you have separated. How you split them is up to you... 5 and 5, 7 and 3, etc. We have introduction tips under the Mouse Behavior section.

The goal is to create a smaller, friendlier group that will keep go easy on her and keep her happy. Another benefit is thay if you decide to reintroduce her to the big group in a few weeks or months, she'll have a couple of friends to back her up.

Often, one mouse starts picking on another and the others follow the lead. So if you reintroduce, watch for any troublemakers, and once you've identified them, give them a timeout. This gives you a chance to tame one-on-one, and them a chance to get a little bit lonely so that they'll appreciate all their friends.

I tried to make it brief so I wouldn't be too confusing, if you have more questions don't hesitate to ask!

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Mon May 22, 2017 11:41 pm

After a good night's sleep and some Neosporin on the wounds, the little mouse (her name is Pegasus) is doing much better. She seems to be feeling more relaxed and was moving around in her carrier a lot so I decided to take her out to play.

One good thing about the situation, the only good thing really, is that she is extremely friendly towards me. Today we bonded and she sat on my shoulder for a long while and cuddled against my neck.

I also took out Finch, one of my girls who I knew wasn't beating up on Pegasus, and let her run around the area I had set up for them. They got along so well that I decided to keep them together in the pet carrier (it's intended to carry my dogs, so it's big enough for 3-4 mice).

So, here's my plan, please let me know what you think:

All together, I have three possible containers for housing; the 40 gallon, the 20 gallon that my sick mouse is in, and the pet carrier with Pegasus and Finch. My sick mouse is mending quickly and I think I'll be able to reintroduce her soon or switch her to the pet carrier (I didn't put her in the carrier at first because it is made party of cloth and I didn't want to transfer the sickness) and then Pegasus and Finch can go into the 20 gallon. Then, mouse by mouse, I will put more friendly mice with those two until the ratio will need to be switched between the 20 gallon and 40 gallon, then I'll put the friendly pack of mice into the cleaned and descented 40 gallon for a week or two to make it smell like them, and add the 'mean' mice back in with them.

It'll be a long process, but well worth it if they can all get along. I want permanent separation to be my very last resort. Thoughts?

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by scaredymouse on Tue May 23, 2017 4:43 am

Mice have to put a lot of work into setting up their social hierarchies, they won't like mice being put in one by one because each time they will have to sort things out again. It would be best to just put all the nice mice together at once. Typically when there is a fight, only the naughty mouse/mice are separated in the first place and put in a time out. They hate being alone, so they usually change their ways when reintroduced because they are so happy to be home.

So after your nice group is doing well, you can try reintroductions. In the interim, do your best to tame the jerk mice. It really helps them get along better with the others. Just bear in mind, keeping 10 mice together is tricky. You may just need to keep the groups separate.

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Tue May 23, 2017 11:08 am

scaredymouse wrote:Mice have to put a lot of work into setting up their social hierarchies, they won't like mice being put in one by one because each time they will have to sort things out again.  It would be best to just put all the nice mice together at once.  Typically when there is a fight, only the naughty mouse/mice are separated in the first place and put in a time out.  They hate being alone, so they usually change their ways when reintroduced because they are so happy to be home.

So after your nice group is doing well, you can try reintroductions.  In the interim, do your best to tame the jerk mice.  It really helps them get along better with the others.  Just bear in mind, keeping 10 mice together is tricky.  You may just need to keep the groups separate.  

Thank you! I'll separate them into their new groups today and work with handling the jerk mice. I have realized that the mean ones are the least comfortable with me, so hopefully taming them will help.

Daily handling has become a possibility for me very recently so I have a lot of time to dedicate to them.

If worse comes to worst, I'll just separate them as you suggested.

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Rodents rock! on Tue May 23, 2017 8:47 pm

Kattyxoxo wrote:
scaredymouse wrote:Mice have to put a lot of work into setting up their social hierarchies, they won't like mice being put in one by one because each time they will have to sort things out again.  It would be best to just put all the nice mice together at once.  Typically when there is a fight, only the naughty mouse/mice are separated in the first place and put in a time out.  They hate being alone, so they usually change their ways when reintroduced because they are so happy to be home.

So after your nice group is doing well, you can try reintroductions.  In the interim, do your best to tame the jerk mice.  It really helps them get along better with the others.  Just bear in mind, keeping 10 mice together is tricky.  You may just need to keep the groups separate.  

Thank you! I'll separate them into their new groups today and work with handling the jerk mice. I have realized that the mean ones are the least comfortable with me, so hopefully taming them will help.

Daily handling has become a possibility for me very recently so I have a lot of time to dedicate to them.

If worse comes to worst, I'll just separate them as you suggested.

Hi Katty,
Wishing you well with your mice! Keep us posted Very Happy

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Wed May 24, 2017 2:58 pm

Is the a good idea, now that I have the nice mice and the jerks separated, to bring them together in a neutral area to play together for a bit each day?

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Peachy on Wed May 24, 2017 5:16 pm

It's best to keep separate colonies separate until you're ready to introduce them all. I'd give it at least two weeks, and then you can start scent swapping stuff a few days before you put them in neutral territory.

Read this thread for more tips:
https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t19-keeping-mice-together-introducing-them

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by Kattyxoxo on Wed May 24, 2017 8:35 pm

Peachy wrote:It's best to keep separate colonies separate until you're ready to introduce them all. I'd give it at least two weeks, and then you can start scent swapping stuff a few days before you put them in neutral territory.

Read this thread for more tips:
https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t19-keeping-mice-together-introducing-them

Okay, thank you! Right now I have 6 nice girls in the 40 gallon and 3 jerk girls in the 20 gallon. I'll let the nice girls bond with Pegasus for a week or two and then try introducing the jerks. Then I'll separate individuals for 24 hours each time they bicker (if they bicker).

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Re: Failed mouse introduction (!!!)

Post by scaredymouse on Wed May 24, 2017 11:14 pm

Sounds like a plan!

Do your best to tame the jerks. If they don't come around, let us know. We have other taming strategies for brats.

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