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Post by River on Tue 05 Jul 2016, 8:51 pm

I've got a lot of questions, so instead of a constant spam...here you are.

First off - and I know, I've talked about this a lot, but I've got some new information on it now! - is the sneezing. At first I'd assumed it was the bedding - since I read that the brand I used can and often does cause sneezing - and changing it did help...for like two days. The house smelled absolutely horrible one day, since the urine smell had caught onto the wood. This caused sneezing again. More often than before, even. I also noticed dust from the bedding collecting on the walls of the tank so I did a thorough cleaning, and I removed the house and cleaned it and the sneezing slowed down to about every 1-2 minutes. Three-ish days later, and she still sneezes every so often - probably every 1-3 minutes.
Whatever it is, doesn't seem to be contagious. Graham has had no respiratory problems. Nothing I've noticed, anyways, and I've done a few checks on both of them here and there.
I'm saving so I can get another opinion from a different vet - since the first one just said 'stress and left it at that - but what do you think this is? It doesn't get worse or better, it isn't contagious, and she does it more often around powerful smells and dust in the environment. I'm super curious to see what anyone else thinks it might be. I'm so worried!

Secondly; do you think an open-barred cage would make it easier to breath for such a mouse? Would it help with smells, or at least prevent dust from getting all stuck like it does in a tank? Would a cage change be very stressful to a mouse?

Which is more serious - lice or mites? I'm actually thinking it's lice now, rather than mites as I saw a little speck of something on little Graham's nose, and Maier has some white things on her fur that I'd passed off as dust from her burrowing in the paper shavings. Either way, Ivermectin is on it's way!!!

I've also noticed that both of them have super perky ears - more so than usual now that they have a wheel to run on - I think this is a good thing, what's it mean though? Is it happiness, general wellness....what? Anyone know?

Is there anything in vitasmart parakeet food that can cause allergies? I'm sorry to say I still haven't managed to get my hands on it. Hmph.

Also - how do you guys go about vet visits? Annual, or just when you have a concern? I see that this is a personal choice to make - as many think that an annual visit isn't necessary considering how short the lifespan is - but I'm curious as to how you all view this topic.

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Post by Bthny on Tue 05 Jul 2016, 9:24 pm

I think an open barred/wire type cage could help with the smell because it allows for more ventilation. I've noticed dust usually settles in the bottom of the cage, but it never seems to dusty. If anything, it allows for better air flow, which might help with her sneezing. The cage change being stressful really depends on the individual mouse. One of my girls initially got very stressed when I moved her and her sister to a new cage when cleaning their old one, but settled down after a few weeks (they were only in there for cleaning, so it wasn't overly long for the time actually spent in there). If you move a lot of their used but clean bedding to the new cage, it makes it smell more like home and may help. However, you'd definitely need to watch them at first for any destructive behaviors. My stressed girl would keep biting at the bars of the new cage, so depending how your mice respond, you might need to make it a prolonged process for when you're able to watch them. In good news, none of my 3 other mice did anything like that when moving to new cages.

I do vet visits as needed. I wouldn't do annual visits just because I figure most mice won't live long enough to need more than one.
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Post by CinnamonPearl on Tue 05 Jul 2016, 10:18 pm

Sorry, I don't have any advice on the sneezing! Poor little girl. Maybe getting a humidifier would help? 

Perky ears are nothing to be worried about. Most of my mice have pretty perky ears. I don't know exactly what it means, but they seem to be happy when they do it, so I don't question it.

By Vitasmart, do you mean Vitakraft? I know Vitakraft has no allergenic ingredients, since it has no ingredients that need to be removed. 

And as for vet visits, only do them as needed. Mice have such short lifespans that they may never even need more than one annual visit. Vet trips are very stressful for them, and with most vets, they know so little about mice that they will rarely notice anything you didn't first. In fact, with mice, I've learned the valuable skill of knowing when to not take your mouse to the vet, but that's a discussion for another time.

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Post by scaredymouse on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 1:13 am

Are you in a position to be able to get a video of her sneezing? The reason I ask, it that my Furgie makes a noise that sounds similar to a sneeze when I take her out to play. She doesn't seem to make it when she's in the tank and not really aware that I'm there. I wonder if you might have a similar mouse on your hands. It's sort of a fffttt sound but short like a sneeze.

Does she have any other symptoms at all? Watery eyes, puffy eyes, lethargy, lack of appetite... anything? If not, I don't see what a vet would really do for you. Did she already do a course of antibiotics? Typically with a URI, she would be acting sick and getting progressively worse. Every now and then, a mouse will recover without antibiotics but in that case, she wouldn't still be sneezing. And even if it were allergies, if it has been going on for this long, I would expect her to also have itchy watery eyes too.

A cage change shouldn't be too stressful for her, especially if she has all her toys with her. It's hard to say whether it would help or not, since we don't really know for sure what the problem is.

So, the little white spots you saw, were they moving? Lice move and fast, too. I'm glad the ivermectin is on it's way. That will help with mites or lice. Neither one is transmittable to humans, so that's good! Lice and mites become a problem if you have a lot of small animals because it will spread to all of them.

Perky ears= good thing. You mouse is happy and paying attention to you.

Vitakraft parakeet food is perfectly safe, no allergens in it.

Mice should only visit the vet if they are sick. No wellness visits. For one, there isn't much for a vet to do if the mouse is well... no bloodwork or xrays, no vaccinations, there's nothing to do. Additionally, every time the mouse leaves the house, they run the risk of getting sick. They can either pick something up at the vet or just the stress alone can lower their immune system and they can get sick. It's really stressful for mice to go to the vet, so you should really only go when you have to.

Let us know if you have more questions!

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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 9:59 am

@scaredymouse wrote:Are you in a position to be able to get a video of her sneezing?  The reason I ask, it that my Furgie makes a noise that sounds similar to a sneeze when I take her out to play.  She doesn't seem to make it when she's in the tank and not really aware that I'm there.  I wonder if you might have a similar mouse on your hands.  It's sort of a fffttt sound but short like a sneeze.

Does she have any other symptoms at all?  Watery eyes, puffy eyes, lethargy, lack of appetite... anything?  If not, I don't see what a vet would really do for you.  Did she already do a course of antibiotics?  Typically with a URI, she would be acting sick and getting progressively worse.  Every now and then, a mouse will recover without antibiotics but in that case, she wouldn't still be sneezing.  And even if it were allergies, if it has been going on for this long, I would expect her to also have itchy watery eyes too.

A cage change shouldn't be too stressful for her, especially if she has all her toys with her.  It's hard to say whether it would help or not, since we don't really know for sure what the problem is.

So, the little white spots you saw, were they moving?  Lice move and fast, too.  I'm glad the ivermectin is on it's way.  That will help with mites or lice.  Neither one is transmittable to humans, so that's good!  Lice and mites become a problem if you have a lot of small animals because it will spread to all of them.

Perky ears= good thing.  You mouse is happy and paying attention to you.

Vitakraft parakeet food is perfectly safe, no allergens in it.

Mice should only visit the vet if they are sick.  No wellness visits.  For one, there isn't much for a vet to do if the mouse is well... no bloodwork or xrays, no vaccinations, there's nothing to do.  Additionally, every time the mouse leaves the house, they run the risk of getting sick.  They can either pick something up at the vet or just the stress alone can lower their immune system and they can get sick.  It's really stressful for mice to go to the vet, so you should really only go when you have to.

Let us know if you have more questions!


I could get a video, yeah - I'll do that when she awakes. No other symptoms, no, which is what I found strange...she's active, perky, grooms herself well, bright eyes. Everything is well...only thing is the scarcity of fur around her face area, which actually might just be how black mice look on average. No clue. I'll get a picture of that as well, see if all is normal.

I'll consider the cage change, then! Gotta make sure they're the right size and are safe. Either way, I did wanna change to a lighter tank, since I've got one of the heavy sort.

I didn't see moving that I could tell, no. Maybe it was just dust, then. Though I've heard nits/eggs can be visible, so maybe...

Good to hear. Another thing I see a lot - not sure if it's the same thing - is this. http://www.thatpetplace.com/vita-prima-parakeet-formula-2-lb?gclid=CjwKEAjw2PK7BRDPz5nDh9GjoGcSJAAybcS3-sZBM6QwKLF48iKSyUcsP8pGqN5dhTDqrnkwgYgeahoCIZvw_wcB is this safe/healthy/etc.?
I also see this http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Parakeet-Bird-Food/I/VitaSmart-High-Diversity-Parakeet-Diet.aspx?CAWELAID=520009670000364373&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=17904573613&CATCI=pla-111905141773&catargetid=520009670000099223&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKEAjw2PK7BRDPz5nDh9GjoGcSJAAybcS3WnxwCxPAvh-ExjxSjwu28Q5lZADmKPx5kUd2KahpDhoC1L3w_wcB which is what I've seen recommended the most, so I know that one is good - it's what I'm aiming to get.

Thought so! I was just curious, as my rabbits get yearly vet visits and I wasn't sure if that was beneficial to all pets or not.


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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 10:01 am

@CinnamonPearl wrote:Sorry, I don't have any advice on the sneezing! Poor little girl. Maybe getting a humidifier would help?

I do have a humidifier, yep. I can run it overnight. Didn't think of that.

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Post by peas on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 10:15 am


Try different bedding. Use plain paper towel for a few days, not shredded up but just layered and see if that helps.

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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:47 am

I've heard of that being an option! I'm just concerned about the smell it'll cause, as I know ammonia build-up isn't good for the little sensitive snoots either.

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:49 am

I wouldn't use just sheets of paper as bedding, since they can't burrow in it. Try shredded newspaper. It's the least allergenic of all the beddings.

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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:53 am

@CinnamonPearl wrote:I wouldn't use just sheets of paper as bedding, since they can't burrow in it. Try shredded newspaper. It's the least allergenic of all the beddings.

I'm using shredded printer paper right now, I doubt there's much a difference between shredded printer paper and shredded newspaper. However she still gets some white dust on her fur after burrowing and sometimes I notice the white dust collecting on the glass, so this makes me think that somehow it's still pretty dusty.

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:56 am

Oh, okay. Hm, strange that your paper is dusty. It's usually the least dusty bedding!

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Post by River on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 12:26 pm

That's what I thought to. I wonder if it has to do with my paper shredder? Nonetheless, I'm switching to Kaytee by next cleaning time.

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Post by CallaLily on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 12:52 pm

Trying the sheets of unripped paper just for a while to see if there's any improvement won't hurt. Though she may just rip it up herself.

When I was trying to figure out Daryl's eye problems, I used fleece liners and strips and changed them out a few times a week. I also made sure to only use hard plastic or ceramic toys/hides - removing all wood and cardboard.

Edit: do you know what the humidity is in that room?

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Post by AnonONIagent on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 1:02 pm

I personally don't ever worry about sneezing or sniffling as long as the mouse seems otherwise happy and healthy. Unless the mouse shows other signs of sickness or appears to really be bothered by the sneezing, I would just see if it clears up with time. But if you are really that concerned, try replacing the bedding with sheets of paper towel after a cage cleaning, and replace the paper towel every few hours. This should remove any kind of allergens or irritants related to bedding from your mouse's environment.
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Post by scaredymouse on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 2:07 pm


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Lady mice: Maggie, Claire, and Penny (aka Sweet P)
Gentleman mice: Alexander
Other pets: Little Buddy, Kevin (cats) Sherberta, Dustin, Lidiya, Chip, Squiggy, Nina, Harold, Spike, Mia, Mim, Henrietta(hamsters), Chloe and Zoey (chinchillas), Herman/Figaro Whooopers/Burlington (guinea pigs)
Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie, Fancy Pants, Jellybean, Charlie, Murray, Sally, Maya, Gunther, Lil Smokey, Magnus, Norman, Winnie, Sally, George, Harriet, Spec, Erzulie, Lucille, Agatha and Clementine.
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