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Paralyzed, getting worse, is it cruel to keep her going?

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Post by Neil on Sun 02 Sep 2018, 9:38 am

Hi everyone, I have always been a bird and rat guy but two weeks ago I found Bernice dragging herself on the sidewalk in the middle of the day in the sun and have since fallen in love. She only has one functioning arm, three limbs paralyzed, but i got her back to health so her eyes look alive again, she is very squirmy now and eats when i grind her food into powder or give her peanut butter off my finger. However she sleeps all the time, or at leasyt stays in her blanket, and its quite painful to watch her try to walk. Is she in pain, should i put her down, or maybe life is ok as she doesnt have to forage fear predators or pay a mortgage? (Ok last one is a joke) If you tell me put her down is there a way that i can put her to sleep myself maybe with human meds in her food like advil or codeine. Otherwise how might i give her a better life, has anyone built a tiny harness with back wheels because i am tempted to try. If i had sn atduino id build her a snout-controlled motorized platform and hope she's a better driver than my mom. Any advice appreciated, when shes gone i'm getting another mouse, they are so much smaller and less destructive than rats and im not allowed to have pets in here. Wink

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Post by CallaLily on Sun 02 Sep 2018, 5:55 pm

This is a tough call. I would say if she can get around fairly well, is able to eat/drink, enjoying life, and doesn’t seem to be in a lot of pain - then go ahead and try to give her the best life you can. If at any time she seems to be suffering and not enjoying life anymore, think about having her PTS.

@scaredymouse is a busy busy lady but she may be able to help with your questions on possible humane home euthanasia.

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Post by chiroptera on Sun 02 Sep 2018, 5:58 pm

@Neil My roommates have both birds and rats and... personally, I prefer the mice! Laughing

(I do love the rats too! but gosh do they take up so much more room, and they're much pointier... I prefer the little mousies)

As for Bernice, good on you for trying to save her! I would recommend consulting with a veterinarian if you can, as it's hard to say whether or not she's in pain without more info on what's wrong.

I think it would be very difficult to make a functional harness/wheelchair for her, since mice are so small and also so good at squeezing through things, though because she doesn't have use of her limbs, it might be easier to keep it on her... though I would guess it's not likely. (If you want to try it though, I'd love if you could prove me wrong! I hope it is possible!)

I unfortunately can't give you a for-sure answer one way or another... mice are good at hiding pain, but if she's paralyzed it's possible that she doesn't feel pain at all in those limbs.

As for sleeping all the time, she might just be sleeping because it's day time! She might be more active at night, since they are nocturnal.

Hopefully some other forum members will be able to offer a bit more insight- though some pictures of the little girl may help! (Plus, we all love pictures here! Wink )

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Post by Neil on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 9:25 am

Thanks for both of your advice i tried advil in her food and she looks like a heroin addict now, so 'out of it' that pain wouldn't be felt. I feel its her time to go but will not have the heart to put her to sleep at a cold vets like my cat, rather her pass here, i might try codeine in a day or two because she is not having much of a life and feel guilty. On the other finding her guarantees many many mice in the future a home with me and since i assume paralysis will come in other mice i am holding out to learn what can, can't be done and if there is some way to help mice less affected. I have a muscle relaxant, i may as well see if that maybe relives the twist in her back like it did mine. Watching this im in one way glad my parents disowned me so i wont have to see them slowly fade like this! Excuse me for saying this as i am no atheist and its in jest, but I keep thinking if there is indeed an all-knowing god he is in many a real :censored:. Not cool, Lord, not cool at all. Unless Bernice is dying for my sins. Ok i'm losing my mind. I'm gonna go hunt an owl and kill it for all the mice!!! To bad i've only seen one wild one in my city in almost fifty years.

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 10:07 am

NOTE: During the time I was typing all of this up, the message posted that informed us of Bernice's Advil treatment. Rather than just lose any good advice that might be contained therein, I'm posting my message anyway, as originally written.
______________________________

If little Bernice is bright-eyed, eats well, and interacts with you, then indications are that she has not lost her will to survive.  If she is still completely grooming herself, then that's even better.  The rest of this post is based on the assumption that Bernice is OK by those standards and would like the chance to continue her mousie life.  (No matter how much work it makes for you, thank you very much!)

If she is having trouble getting everything clean, you can assist her with spot-cleaning, using comfortably warm water with a tiny bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid dissolved in it, followed by a thorough warm water rinse (you don't want her ingesting soap residue when she licks her fur), and then gently dab her dry with a soft absorbent cloth.  Keep her warm and talk sweet to her the whole time.  Good friend-making opportunity.  Some other animal shampoos are acceptable for use on mice, but Dawn is safe across the board.

In case something is at work other than complete paralysis, take heart that some structural injuries, including muscle tears, joint strains and sprains, and even broken bones, can heal over time pretty much on their own.  This may take several more weeks.  So while Bernice is on bedrest, your task is to make her life safe, nutritious, and interesting -- or at least not scary.

First, make sure she is in an enclosure, for her safety.  With her lack of mobility, you may be able to get by with a cardboard box (like the size that holds ten reams of copy paper).  But keep in mind that a healthy mouse can easily chew right through that, and if you are planning to get another mouse soon you might just as well invest in the official mouse house now.

Set up the temporary home "hospital tank"-style, with no bedding to impede or complicate her motion.  Just a few layers of paper towel to line the enclosure bottom is plenty.  If she is comfortable sleeping in the blanket she has now, then let her continue -- or find a similar but smaller one to fit the enclosure better.  Keep food and water close and accessible, and clean up her waste frequently.  She may not wish to mess in the spot she sleeps in, and if she cannot easily move from there she may try to hold it in to the point of damaging some of the internal works.  If you make sure everything is cleaned up right away, she may be less shy about it.

Multi-grain, vitamin-enriched baby cereal powder makes an excellent porridge you can use as a base food for both nutrition and hydration, and mice generally love the stuff.  Keep water available too -- boil and cool tap water first, to get rid of chemicals.  See if Bernice will nibble greens (collards, kale, romaine -- avoid beet greens and iceberg lettuce) that you hold for her.  And because calcium is essential for bone repair and muscle function, and because it can help her keep her digestion healthy in the presence of all these new foods, and all this STRESS, offer her a few licks of yogurt once in a while.  Plain flavor is usually advised, but my little April liked peach and cherry.

See if she has interest in using a wheel.  As a wild mouse, she may not "get it" at first, but once she figures out what's going on with it, the wheel could help her to rehabilitate and gain strength, if indeed she is able to progress in that direction.  Make sure to use a solid (not mesh) wheel that is large enough for her, and you will have to set her inside and bring her back out, at least to start.  She may just decide to sleep in it, and if that's what she wants to do, then that's OK too.

Is it possible for you to carry Bernice around with you, as you go about things in the house and outside surroundings?  She probably cannot hang on well enough to be a shoulder mouse, but if you can keep her in one hand while you do things with the other hand, she will at least have a changing vista to keep her from becoming terribly bored.  Or maybe you can come up with some sort of observation hammock she can sit inside that you can wear around your neck, so she gets a chest-level view of the world while you keep both hands free.  Either way, always remember this:  WHEN YOU HAVE A MOUSE ON BOARD, YOU CANNOT EVER LET THAT FACT LEAVE YOUR MIND.  It is insanely easy to terribly injure a mouse that is riding about on your person, and that thought has to be with you constantly.

Then when you're relaxing, bring out Bernice and let her relax too, on your chest or on your leg (depending on what position you watch the telly in!), and give her a nice massage.  Mice love cheek rubs, and getting those good endorphins flowing can assist with recovery from injury or illness.

Keep in mind that in some jurisdictions it is illegal to keep a wild animal as a "pet", and a veterinarian may be required to confiscate a wild mouse that is brought in.

So, to sum up, make things easy, tasty, and interesting for your little "special needs mouse".  Monitor her for indications that she is in pain (squinting her eyes, hunched posture, failure to groom or pulling out hair, avoiding food and drink, pulling away from you or crying out when touched).  Make sure she is kept at a comfortable temperature and that she is not losing body heat, and make sure her feet and tail are nicely pink (fading could indicate circulatory problems).  Make sure she is eating and getting hydration.

And enjoy these days.  You are living through a rewarding experience that few people ever get a chance to have.

Keep us updated.  And share some pictures, if you can.

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Post by CallaLily on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 12:15 pm

I want to add to please be very careful administering any medication without consulting a veterinarian. You may do more harm than good (like cause further suffering).

If a vet isn’t possible with her being a wild mousey, then perhaps see if there are any wildlife rescues near you that could help.

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Post by Neil on Mon 03 Sep 2018, 9:40 pm

Hi that info is so appreciated thsnk you its been a rough day as I thought I had lost her but it might be shes actually more relaxed around me and happy to be held. They really are as emotional as rats at 1/8th the size i feel we have bonded now at two weekd
I have been keeping her with me in a little soft pouch i made, she looks tired and unwell but not in discomfort as i sensed until now, maybe the advil worked. Im staying in tonight so she doesnt feel alone and get depressed, she does seem to love to be stroked on the head and nose. Shes moving much less but looks more at peace, i hope its not a sign shes giving up, ill folllow your advice and keep you posted. She is a wild mouse grey like i've seen in previous apartments once in a while, i used to feed one in my last place but he only took my food when i was gone or asleep so never got to know him well.

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Post by Neil on Tue 04 Sep 2018, 5:43 am

6:32am, awoke with my arm still around her pouch but Bernice had passed during the night. I do think the advil pushed her along but I have no regrets as she died looking comfortable in a normal lying position rather than the twisted painful looking way she was before. I am so sad, she really got to me, I will give her a proper burial today. I'll be back here after the mourning period to ask a few questions about my next pet. Bless your hearts for all your help. RIP Bernice.

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Post by chiroptera on Tue 04 Sep 2018, 3:02 pm

I'm sorry to hear about Bernice. Worry But know that you did what you could for her, and definitely gave her a better chance than mother nature would have.

We'll be happy to see you back with another mousie friend! Very Happy

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Love remembering: Trouble, Yahtzee, Checkers, Mahjong, Clue, Pumpkin, Spider, Beetle, Peebee, Jay, Sid, Zola, Caramel, Hazelnut, Bonny, Thyme, Olive, Popcorn, Shelley, Frida, Dragon + Pancake
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