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Introducaing a new mouse

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Introducaing a new mouse

Post by jaylew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi friends! I went out and picked up a new lady mouse, today. This is a solution to the problem described here: https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t2334-over-grooming-sisters - you can see all the stats on my tank, there.

Info:

  • Estimated to be 2-3 months old
  • Lived alone and was returned to store by family
  • Appears to be a mutt (doesn't look pure fancy or feeder)
  • Quite large, but quite shy and submissive in a large group at the store; was eventually removed because all the other ladies were mounting her and the caretakers didn't want any fights to break out
  • Lived in the store for 1.5 months, approximately, most of that alone (so coming out of quarantine)
  • Little rough around the edges, but her eyes are clear and she looks relatively healthy to me


Knowing all of this, I tried to introduce her to my two girls, today. Put them in neutral territory with other things to play with and places to hide, etc. My girls didn't really care too much about her, just sort of sniffed her and ran around excitedly, like they usually would. Things were pretty good until Ophelia, the bigger of my two girls, got a little too close for newbie's liking, and they got into a bit of a tussle. No blood, just lots of squeaking and a small bit of rolling. Ophelia moved away promptly, but she and Isabelle were still both very interested. I separated them for safety's sake, and to let newbie relax a bit.

When I was later putting new girl in her little temporary home, she was making some funky sounds, kind of like a quiet, clicking sneeze, but there was no wheezing in her breathing, and she didn't do any little jumps or starts like I'd assume a sneeze would make a mouse do. Now that she's in her own container, she's doing plenty of exploring and investigation - tentative and interested, as you'd expect a new mouse to be in its new home.

I wanted to know if any of you thought this sounded like an infection/illness, or if it just sounds like she's stressed and could use some time apart, or what.

Any and all thoughts much appreciated! Here are some pictures of these ladies for reference:

Ophelia (left) and Isabelle (on the wheel)


Hagrid (female)



Last edited by jaylew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:50 pm

So, first of all, a fancy mouse and a feeder mouse are the same thing. This means your mouse is not a "mutt". Here's a little more about it from one of our threads about house mice:
The house mouse is what your pet Fancy Mice are. All fancy mice are the same species, regardless of color, markings, body type, coat type, etc. Feeder mice are also your standard fancy mice, they are just given a different descriptive name by pet shops. Neither deer mice, nor white-footed mice, can breed with house mice. While they look very similar, they are extremely different.

Did you quarantine your new girl for at least 4 weeks before introducing her? I very highly recommend doing so. This will give your new girl a chance to settle in, and a chance for you to watch her and make sure she doesn't have any signs of illness. I'd recommend doing this for any future mice.

Sneezing could be a few things; a URI, box shock, or allergies. If she isn't showing any other symptoms, like breathing hard, a constant clicking noise coming from her when breathing, or lethargy, I'd lean more towards one of the other two causes, not a URI. I don't know a lot about box shock, but I know it affects new mice and is basically a result of the stress of coming into a new home. Box shock should clear up a while after she settles in. Allergies is pretty self explainable, she could be allergic to something in the cage. I'd suggest removing different things and seeing if she improves while those things are out. For example, remove all the wood items, and if she seems better when those are gone, she might be allergic to wood. If you believe she has a URI, the only thing you can do is get her to the vet as soon as you can.

I hope that answers your questions, I wasn't sure exactly what all your questions were Smile

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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by Peachy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:54 pm

She's cute!! Congrats on your new girl.  Very Happy  In addition to what AMO said, a couple things to touch on...

1. It's important to quarantine new mice for at least 3 weeks. This serves a few important purposes. First, it clues you in on any health issues that might need addressed, like a respiratory infection. These are things you don't want to pass to your currently healthy girls. Second, you get to watch out for pregnancy! Common in pet store mice, and potentially problematic if you happen to have her in with other mice when the babies are born. And last, it gives you a chance to bond and tame her. This is nice for you and her, but it can also help introductions go more smoothly. More info on quarantine here - http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t7-quarantine

2. After quarantine, when you're ready to introduce... it sounds like you got it right for the most part, but unless blood is drawn DO NOT SEPARATE them. It's essential for new colonies to work out their hierarchy, and they do this by tumbling around, squeaking, chasing, sniffing, humping, etc. It looks pretty bad to us, but it's normal for them and should settle down within a couple weeks normally. Separating them when it's not necessary makes it harder for them to work out what needs worked out. The only time you should interfere and separate is if someone draws blood. More info here - http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t19-keeping-mice-together-introducing-them

Watch the noises she's making, and if it doesn't stop within a week or two or if it sounds worse, take her to a vet. Unfortunately, respiratory infections are also pretty common. I had a mouse who started making noises during an introduction, too, but this was AFTER quarantine. Ugh! It turned out to be a combo of a URI/lung scarring and/or Myco. Ee! Poor thing.

Good luck with everything!

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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by jaylew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:59 pm

Thank you so much @AnonymousMouseOwner and @Peachy! I'm never going to be over how friendly and helpful everyone is here. I'll follow your advice and keep their space for a while, and be more brave when the time for introductions comes. I'm just such a wuss hahaha!

And thank you for explaining to me the fact that there's no difference between the two! Feel a bit foolish haha! Angel

I have her in her own space, now, away from the existing girls. Hopefully everyone stays happy and healthy! To this end, the temporary space I've got for the new girl (who was named Hagrid... hahaha!) is actually a large storage bin with no lid. There's no way for her to climb out (way too tall of walls), but I am not sure if the no-lid thing is okay? Do you have any thoughts on this? Smile
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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by Peachy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:08 pm

That's not something I would be comfortable risking, to be honest. How high are the walls? Mice can leap up about 12 inches when they want to. If the walls are much higher than that, other concerns would be other animals. Got any cats or dogs?

Could you purchase some hardware cloth from a store such as Home Depot? It's about $8 and you can simply fold it over the bin to build a sort of lid. I've had to do that more than once. lol

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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by jaylew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:11 pm

@Peachy wrote:That's not something I would be comfortable risking, to be honest. How high are the walls? Mice can leap up about 12 inches when they want to. If the walls are much higher than that, other concerns would be other animals. Got any cats or dogs?

Could you purchase some hardware cloth from a store such as Home Depot? It's about $8 and you can simply fold it over the bin to build a sort of lid. I've had to do that more than once. lol

The walls are about 15" high, and I don't have any other animals in my home, but the cloth is a great idea! I just wasn't sure what the solution would be. I'll do a makeshift set up for tonight and make a run to the store for that tomorrow. Thanks again!
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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by Rodents rock! on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:23 pm

Your new girl is so cute! Looks like AnonymousMouseOwner and Peachy have answered all your questions beautifully. Very Happy  Just wanted to say hi and I'm looking forward to hearing how your next introduction goes in a few weeks.
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Re: Introducaing a new mouse

Post by jaylew on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:42 pm

@Rodents rock! wrote:Your new girl is so cute! Looks like AnonymousMouseOwner and Peachy have answered all your questions beautifully. Very Happy  Just wanted to say hi and I'm looking forward to hearing how your next introduction goes in a few weeks.

Thank you! I'm glad y'all get her rustic charm hahaha! I am so hoping that the newbie is healthy and happy very soon! Her journey before I met her seems to have been pretty rough. The great news is that if she doesn't settle in with my girls, my girlfriend has already expressed interest in taking over care of her so that I can find another good fit for my ladies without worrying about newbie. Smile So no matter what we should all, knock on wood, have a happy ending!

I'll definitely keep you posted on how the introduction goes when we're ready! Hopefully Isabelle doesn't chew off all of Ophelia's hair in the mean time. *eyeroll*
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