Useful Links
Forum Rules
Please read the forum rules before posting. If you have any questions, contact a moderator.

Pet Mouse Info
Links to help you find all the care info threads throughout the forum.

Contact
Use this link if you need to get in touch with the administration team without an account.

FAQ (forum)
Frequently Asked Questions about the forum.

Vetective™
Vetective™ is "a community-driven exotic mammal veterinarian locator and review service."

Pet Adoption
ChatBox

Death, stress and a bloated belly

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by moosticks on Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:19 am

Hi everyone, I'm hoping some of you more experienced mouse owners can help me make sense of what has been a traumatic weekend in my household. I think it's going to be quite a long post, so please bare with me.

We are first time mouse owners, having only got our mice from a breeder back in August. Three girls; two sisters and a slightly older one. We were originally going to have 4, but the 4th was another sister to the sibling pair, and became ill (and we think may have died) before we could take her. This may or may not be relevant to the rest of this tale.

So our mice have been very happy. We dote on them, did all the research about good and bad food, try to balance their diet, provide interesting tank layouts with a variety of toys to knaw/climb/jump/run on. They're very tame now, always happy to see us and come running to the front of their tank to say hi when we're close by. Walk straight on to our hands, etc. We have one of those flat disc wheels and they all loved going on it together. Friday night I observed them all on this wheel when I went to bed. All was normal and happy and calm.

Saturday morning I noticed the two sisters (Tremolo and Pizzacato) were sleeping outside of their bed. I thought it was a bit odd, but then they have in the past selected unusual places to sleep. I prodded them both to check they were ok, and they both stirred, so didn't think much more of it. Out we went for about 3.5 hours.

As soon as we got back I asked my husband to look in on them. He gasped and snapped around to look at me, tears in his eyes... "What?!" I asked, too frightened to move. "Tremolo has died and the others have eaten her."

To make matters worse, her sister Pizzacato was awake now, but moving around very oddly; she was trembling, her eyes were squinty and very dull, her fur was dishevelled and had lost its sheen (she's a satin), but most oddly of all (according to all sick-mouse accounts Google threw up, anyway) she was still trying to eat, despite her clearly declining health. Failing, but trying. My husband called around all of the local out of hours vets and finally found a rodent specialist who advised us to warm Pizzacato up and drop water on her nose. So I nursed her in a Tupperware on top of a hot water bottle in my lap for three hours. At first she was practically motionless. I offered her tiny morsels of dry food and pipetted drops of water to her and very gradually she started to move around a bit more. After a couple of hours of this, she climbed out and sat on my shoulder. As the hours went on she just went from strength to strength. Today, two days later, she's eating more than usual and playing less, but still coming out to say hello, and her fur has gone sleek and shiny again, and her eyes are bright like they were.

Tremolo's death is very much unresolved. Both the vet and the breeder have suggested a genetic issue possibly (recall the 4th mouse that we never got to bring home)? While I'm not so sure, because of the state we found Pizzacato in, and the fact she got better so quickly once we realised she was so unwell.

Why were they sleeping out of the bed? How/why did Pizzacato get so cold? How come she continued to try and eat, even though she was shaking so much that she couldn't walk straight and was literally falling over? How come she bounced back so quickly? Would Tremolo have got better had I not stupidly thought she was being her usual, delightfully odd self, and offered her the same treatment as I did for Pizzacato? Sad

Now the third mouse, Collegno, has seemed completely unphased by this whole episode. She is acting completely normal, unlike Pizzacato who honestly seems depressed. The only thing to note with her is that her belly is suddenly (as of yesterday) bloated. Like, really bloated! I gently prodded it yesterday and it felt soft, and she weed all over my hand, but didn't seem pained by it. I'm not sure what could be causing this. There have been no changes in food, types, amounts, or even times. I did notice that the water had gone down noticeably quicker this week, but then the bloating started only yesterday out of nowhere. I had a quick chat with the breeder and we decided I would observe it this week and lay off fresh food for a week, but any other insights/opinions on this would be helpful and appreciated.

My kids were thankfully away as all of this unfolded. We had to tell them what happened yesterday and they are devastated. We all are. Moving forward we want to avoid anything like this from happening again, so my husband and I are scrabbling to make sense of it all. We feel like bad pet owners, even though we have tried so hard to educate ourselves and do the best by our mice. It breaks my heart that potentially this lesson in mouse care came at the cost of my precious Tremolo's life. Sad
avatar
moosticks
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2017-10-30
Posts : 31
Likes : 5

Aries Creative

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by Rodents rock! on Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:19 pm

Hello, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure some more experienced members can help you more than me, but I just wanted to say you didn't do anything wrong. It sounds to me you are very good and caring mouse parents. So please don't think that. Very Happy I'm sure a more experienced member will have more information to add soon.
avatar
Rodents rock!
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-06-27
Posts : 1430
Likes : 382

Aries Caffeine Fix

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by CallaLily on Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:42 am

I don't have any answers for you but thought I'd bump the post in case others missed it.

I'm sorry for your loss and hope your remaining mice stay healthy. hugs

_________________
Rina, Tilda, Arsinoe, & Eulyn
Mouse5  Mouse5  Mouse5  Mouse5
and wild mouse Henrika
Mouse12
avatar
CallaLily
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-04-03
Posts : 2902
Likes : 679

Aquarius Wishful

View user profile https://www.instagram.com/suz_eliz/

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:18 pm

First off, I'm sorry to hear of your horrible ordeal. But do understand that as gruesome as it is, mice will often cannibalize those who have died and that behavior is normal. You're situation is pretty complicated, so I'm not sure how much help I can be or if I can make sense of any of it for you. There is no telling if there was some sort of contagion from the 4th mouse that passed away or what your other mouse actually died of. But based on the sudden onset of symptoms in Pizzacato and the rapid recovery without real intervention/medication... I would think that she perhaps had a stroke. Mice tend to recover from strokes very well. But that doesn't explain the bloating at all.

Those are all my thoughts but there is not way to really know at this point.

As far as the bloating, withhold fresh foods and monitor her. Make sure she's pooping and peeing okay... and if it persists, she will need to see the vet.

_________________
Lady mice: Jellybean, Winnifred & Sally/Georgie & Harriet Potter, Spec, Erzulie, Lucille, Clementine
Gentleman mice:  Sir Fancy Pants of Furville, Lil Smokey, Magnus, Norman, Alexander, and Charlie
Natal multimammate mouse (ASF): Agatha
Other pets: Maya, Kevin (cats), Murray, Sherberta, Gunther, Dustin, Lidiya, Chip, Squiggy, Nina, (hamsters), Chloe and Zoey (chinchillas)
Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie.
avatar
scaredymouse
Moderator
Moderator

Join date : 2016-04-03
Posts : 2299
Likes : 633

Virgo Sluggish
Best Cage -- December 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by moosticks on Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your responses. Sorry for the delayed reply, it's been a bit hectic here!

A stroke is a really interesting hypothesis in regard to Pizzacato. I had no idea that mice could have strokes, nor indeed that they could recover so well from them! I am very pleased to report that she has made a full recovery now. She's looking and behaving as she always did, and is perhaps even more interested in coming out/interacting with us than before! She's eating a normal amount and drinking just fine, toileting normally, has been on the wheel a lot, and is playing with the new toys I got for them as a distraction from the loss of Tremolo.


Pizzacato (left) and Collengno (right) playing in their new coconut house.

As for Collengno's bloaty belly, that also appears to have gone away. I'm still witholding fresh veggies until the weekend. Is there anything in particular I should perhaps avoid giving to her when reintroducing fresh veg in a few days time?

We (the humans) are still sad by the loss of Tremolo, so thank you for your kind words and helping us to not blame ourselves. That's been very hard for my husband and I! My kids are still devastated, but we are all slowly adjusting to her absence. The tank feels so empty without her whiffly nose poking up to say hi every time we walk by. Sad


Tremolo (left) adopting her much-missed-splayed-leg-eating-position, and Pizzacato (right) enjoying a meal-wormy treat.
avatar
moosticks
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2017-10-30
Posts : 31
Likes : 5

Aries Creative

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:22 pm

To further explain the cannibalism... your mouse most likely died of natural causes. Then when faced with a deceased member of their group in their habitat, mice dispose of the body the only way they can... cannibalism. It's instinctual. They know that the body can't stay there like that. If it makes you feel any better, your other mice were just doing their best to keep their home clean. I know from experience that sometimes it's hard not to be mad at them when they do things we don't understand. So hopefully it helps comfort you to understand why they did that.

And indeed mice can have strokes. They can get anything we can get, which is why they are utilized so often in scientific experiments that relate to us. The can get diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hypothyroid, and even mental disorders such as depression and OCD. Based on your description, it really does sound like stroke to me. Some mice have terrible strokes that they don't recover from... but I have seen mice have pretty awful strokes and recover in a matter of hours. But you usually see the majority of recovery within 24 hours. It's fast. And remarkable!

_________________
Lady mice: Jellybean, Winnifred & Sally/Georgie & Harriet Potter, Spec, Erzulie, Lucille, Clementine
Gentleman mice:  Sir Fancy Pants of Furville, Lil Smokey, Magnus, Norman, Alexander, and Charlie
Natal multimammate mouse (ASF): Agatha
Other pets: Maya, Kevin (cats), Murray, Sherberta, Gunther, Dustin, Lidiya, Chip, Squiggy, Nina, (hamsters), Chloe and Zoey (chinchillas)
Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie.
avatar
scaredymouse
Moderator
Moderator

Join date : 2016-04-03
Posts : 2299
Likes : 633

Virgo Sluggish
Best Cage -- December 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by Rodents rock! on Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:04 pm

They look adorable in their new coconut house! Glad to hear of the quick recovery, that is great.
avatar
Rodents rock!
Hero Member
Hero Member

Join date : 2016-06-27
Posts : 1430
Likes : 382

Aries Caffeine Fix

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Death, stress and a bloated belly

Post by moosticks on Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:45 pm

@scaredymouse wrote:To further explain the cannibalism... your mouse most likely died of natural causes.  Then when faced with a deceased member of their group in their habitat, mice dispose of the body the only way they can... cannibalism.  

Yes, we read about this at the time, because to say we were alarmed would be the understatement of the century! We actually took solace in the fact that they must be pretty smart little mouslings, protecting themselves like that. Wink

And indeed mice can have strokes.  They can get anything we can get, which is why they are utilized so often in scientific experiments that relate to us.  The can get diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hypothyroid, and even mental disorders such as depression and OCD.  Based on your description, it really does sound like stroke to me.

This is absolutely fascinating. I had never really considered it before; it does make a lot of sense, though. I'm just so relieved she's back to normal now. It'll be a week since the..er, event tomorrow, and I'm still really scared of what I might find when I check in on them in the mornings and when I come home from university. I guess this is something that will get easier with time. Worry

_________________
This is my signature. Please contain your jealousy.
avatar
moosticks
Jr Member
Jr Member

Join date : 2017-10-30
Posts : 31
Likes : 5

Aries Creative

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum