All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

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All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Tess on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:05 pm

Hi all,

I'm sorry I couldn't make an introductory post yet, but I needed to reach out somewhere since the vets are closed right now. I'll be calling first thing tomorrow.

Some background - about 6 months ago, I lost one of my mice to an unknown cause of bloating. I had taken her to the vet before she passed and the vet said it didn't seem like a tumor or a cyst, but actually just like gas. She was very round and swollen at the abdomen similar to how rats look with megacolon, but she was not stopped up and was also about a year old at the time. We put her on an antibiotic, a probiotic, and a medicine that helps her digestive tract pass waste, but she died a week later with no apparent improvement.

And now, six months later, all 3 of the mice I have remaining are bloated in the exact same way, and getting worse very quickly. No changes in diet, bedding, water source, environment at all. They are all eating, pooping, and playing... just HUGE and round.

Has anyone else experienced this? What could this be? I don't know that I can afford treatment for all 3 of them, nor would I want to jump to something like euthanasia.

Thanks everyone.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Mice Are Cute on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:16 pm

I'm not sure what this could be! Could you get a picture, if possible?

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:21 pm

What is in their setup? What type of foods do you give them? I'm not sure but I'm thinking maybe it's something they ate that they shouldn't have?

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Tess on Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:56 am

Thank you all so much for replying so promptly. Smile

I'll take pictures of the current situation tomorrow, but here is a photo of my previous mouse who had the exact same symptoms - my 3 mice right now all look like this, but not QUITE as bloated.



Their setup: two plastic bins with one on top of the other and a tube connecting them. Bottom bin has about 6 inches high in Carefresh bedding for burrowing and nesting, top bin has 2 wheels and their food/water and a smaller layer of Carefresh bedding. The wheels are the same one pictured that Chihiro is using (though I've replaced both of them, but same brand/type).
They have 1 wooden house that they nest in and 1 chew log in their bottom bin. Food dish is ceramic. Top bin also has a wooden "layer cake" chewing block.

I feed them Mazuri Rat & Mouse Diet and have always fed them that as their primary source of nutrition. I've bought other brands like the Nat Geo type/seed mixes as secondary stimulating foods, but haven't bought any of that in a while (~3 months). For treats I give them peanut butter, cat food kibble (no more than one in a day, and not every day), and carrots/bell peppers.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:07 am

Hm, I'm really not sure. Nothing you feed them or put in your setup sounds like it would be causing this sort of problem. Is it just on one side of the mouse or does it look more like a pregnant mouse would look, big on both sides? If it's only one side, I would think it was a tumor, but then it would be odd for all of your mice to have tumors. I don't know much about bloating issues like this, I just didn't want to leave you hanging, as not many people are online right now.


That just sounds really unusual, especially the fact that the vet couldn't even figure it out. I would definitely talk to the vet as soon as possible and make sure to mention it isn't just one mouse.


Last edited by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Tess on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:10 am

I REALLY appreciate it, AnonymousMouseOwner! Honestly. Smile I posted on reddit too at the time of Chihiro's ailments and no one had heard of it there either, and then the vet also didn't know, so to see it popping up again 3 more times is certainly...alarming.

It's symmetrical for all of them. Palpating it, their bellies feel squishy like you'd expect, just like with Chihiro...

For the time being, they're all still running around and acting normal, so I don't have to worry about them suffering or being in horrible pain, right?


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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:23 am

That's really unusual. And yes, if they are running on their wheels, eating, drinking, etc., it's likely they aren't in much pain, or any at all. Of course, mice can hide pain, but the fact that they are running on their wheel could definitely be a good sign. I don't think I'd volunteer to go out and exercise if I was in pain, and they probably wouldn't be doing so either.

The fact that it's happening to multiple mice in the same cage could mean it's some sort of illness or parasite that is contagious to other mice. I think the vet could help you figure it out a lot better now that you know it's spreading to other mice.

Just so you know, if you use that cage or any accessories for future mice, you should probably sanitize them really well to kill whatever is infecting them.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:25 am

poor sweet mice!  I  have never seen anything like this nor have i ever seen any posts about anything similar.  The only type of bloating i have seen is related to heart failure, which is fluid retention.

it's unusual to have bloating like your mice have without any diarrhea or constipation.  With so many mice affected and the other mouse 6 months ago... There has to be a contageous element or environmental cause.  Unless they all related!  My first thought would be something like worms or giardia.

 sorry we can't be of more assistance.  Please let us know how it goes at the vet.  Good luck.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by CallaLily on Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:08 am

I don't have any ideas or advice but wanted to wish you luck with your vet visit. I hope you can figure it out and get them feeling better soon. hugs

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Rodents rock! on Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:35 pm

This is so odd. I hope your girls will be ok. Please keep us posted on what the vet says. Wishing you the best.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Tess on Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:30 pm

Whew, okay, so let me update everyone on here about my mice's condition! This is gonna be a long post so bear with me.

Firstly, it does appear that the issue was constipation or gas for all of them, as 2 of my 3 girls became substantially less bloated only 12 hours after I gave them some infant simethicone. In other words, the bloating I was seeing was likely independent from my previous experience with it, which was such a relief.

Unfortunately, my white mouse, Ponyo, was the 1 out of 3 girls who did not become less bloated overnight. She was still acting normally overall, but was starting to show signs of discomfort - I could see her abdomen doing that "squish"-heaving motion that mice do when they have that much bloat, and she would sometimes sit away from her friends and just heave like that for a while. I took some photos to document her condition to see if anything was improving or not. These were taken on Friday, 9/22, in the morning, and shows basically exactly how she looked when I made this post.

9/22 Morning:




I noticed that she didn't poop the whole time I was handling, inspecting, massaging, and positioning her, which is pretty suspicious. I then placed her in very shallow warm water (think like a Sitz bath for a human) and rubbed her anus with a q-tip. She didn't go AT ALL! The poor thing must have been so stopped up. It was only after drying her off (but leaving her rear damp enough to where she'd be grooming and possibly still stimulating the area) and placing her back in her bins that I saw her go a little tiny bit. That was also a huge relief, it wasn't a total blockage.

While I was out that day, I bought a bunch of fibery, high-liquid foods for her and everyone else: buckwheat, lettuce, chia, flax, hemp, apples, and strawberries. I moved her over to a single cage for observation when I got home in the evening so I could monitor her toileting and left her this food mix. She basically spent the next 3 hours in the food bowl eating, lol. When I took her out at the end to return her home for the night, she already looked better!

9/22 Evening:




All next day, 9/23, I had those foods available to her. By evening when I isolated her for a little bit and took photos at the end, she looked completely back to normal. Her vet appointment was on Tuesday so I figured that on Monday if she was still fine I'd call and cancel.
(Side note: If her normal looks a bit underweight... she's always been really petite like that! My other girls have been anywhere from chubby to normal, but Ponyo is just a little thing.)

9/23 Evening:




And then Monday, 9/24, she was bloated again. Sad I did it all - the soak, the butt rub, same high fiber foods, she didn't go at all for the entire day to my knowledge. There's constipated, and then there's "I've been eating seeds and veggies nonstop and someone is rubbing my anus in warm water and I'm still not going" constipated. So her vet appointment was still on. I also took a photo for Monday, but it's in a really scrunched pose, so let me show you a comparison between the same pose on 9/23 and then again on 9/24.

9/24 and 9/23 comparison:


Her vet visit was today in the morning, and she was still pretty bloated and starting to show labored breathing/abdominal discomfort again. The good news is that she pooped a lot in her carrier on the way to the vet! Also, the vet did not feel anything that would make her suspect a partial blockage when examining my mouse. Heart and lungs were good. I did get a gut motility medication for her (cisapride) and was given the OK to administer simethicone up to once per hour if needed (but hopefully it'll be more like once or twice per day).

So that's my whole anthology. Super glad to say that it wasn't anywhere near as frightening or mysterious as what I was afraid of! Thank you all so much for your support. Very Happy


Last edited by Tess on Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:05 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by CallaLily on Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:27 pm

I'm glad you've found something that helps. I wonder what's causing it in the first place? Did the vet have any ideas? I hope they continue to improve.

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Re: All 3 mice are starting to appear bloated, previously lost a mouse in the same group to unknown bloating - help please!

Post by Rodents rock! on Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:57 pm

Wow, what a relief! You really did a great job with them. Yes, I was wondering the same thing, did the vet have any idea why all three mice had such horrible gas/bloating?

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