What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

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What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:27 pm

On Tuesday, my grandma and I went out and went to 4 different pet shops looking for gray and black females. We found zero, so at the last location, we gave up and picked out a small, completely white mouse. We already had names picked out, but we weren't expecting a white mouse, so my grandma came up with the name Ivory. Now we are looking for a black mouse to name Ebony! I will post photos later. After a few days of quarantine, I placed Ivory in a ball and set her in the girl's tank. After a bit of some smelling, I removed Ivory because she seemed scared. A waited about an hour and then took them all to the pen and let them meet. Skye started bullying and bit her. Freya had a tussle as well. We took Skye out and put her back in the tank because she was being a bully, and was also tail rattling. After Skye left, Ivory and Freya kept on approaching each other, touching noses and squinting, and then walking away. Freya made her squeak a couple times when she was bullying and I just brought my hand near her and she stopped. What does it mean when they squint? I know that when cats squint it means they are calm and trusting. Should I let them fight? Ivory is a really good climber so I had to keep a really good eye on her in the pen.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:55 pm

I should start by saying that skipping quarantine was very dangerous for all your mice. A three week quarantine minimum is needed to ensure an incoming mouse is completely free of any transmissible illness, especially pet shop mice. A few days is not enough. I'm not sure if you've treated your girls with ivermectin yet, but since this was a pet shop mouse, they have shared their bugs, and you'll have to treat all of them. If you get any new mice, I urge you to undergo the entire three week quarantine to ensure your mice are safe. You never know what a mouse you don't know could be bringing into your house.

Because Ivory showed up in their tank, I would guess that Skye and Freya probably see her as a threat to their territory or an intruder. It's always best to introduce mice in neutral territory first. I would wait a few days and try again, this time in neutral territory. Wash out the bin you had them in so it smells like no one. Squabbling is normal. So long as no blood is drawn, it's best to leave them be. Introduce them in neutral territory, and once they all settle down, put them in a completely clean, washed tank. It might even be best, if things seem tense, to take out all their items except the food bowl and water bottle so they have nothing to fight over. Over the course of a couple days, you can slowly reintroduce a wheel and then the rest of their toys. 

Did Skye draw blood in Ivory?

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:01 pm

I don't think Skye drew any blood. I didn't know that long of a quarantine was needed. I wanted to get Ivory introduced because I didn't want her to be alone.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:06 pm

A three week quarantine is always necessary because only by then will the symptoms of illness become apparent in incoming mice. A few days isn't enough because she could be concealing an illness that may not show itself for another week, and then all your girls are at risk of being affected. Female mice can live just fine alone for the entire quarantine period. Depression doesn't set in within a couple of days, usually. 

So long as no blood is drawn, you're okay. Just follow the steps I outlined for you above, and it should be fine. Let them fight as long as they're not trying to rip into each other. They'll have to reorganize their colony around the new mouse, especially if Ivory wants to go for the alpha position. When Egg first came, she and Mabel fought bitterly through the night for the alpha spot. Mabel won out, and now the two of them are best friends. (Then again, Little Cow and Lilith fought and never stopped fighting, so the results vary.) Just try again once things settle down. Put Ivory and Freya in the bin together first, and after ten minutes, if things are okay, introduce Skye. You can also put on a garden glove and use your hands to separate any squabbles.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:09 pm

I didn't realize how long quarantine needed to be, should I keep doing it now or is it no use because they have already been introduced? Also how do I get Ivermectin?

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:14 pm

Now that they've been together, it's no use. Anything Ivory has has already been transmitted (so let's hope it's only mites). You can get ivermectin from cattle and tractor stores or on Amazon for about $20, free shipping with prime. One bottle will last you forever. I'm guessing since you asked, you haven't treated your other girls with ivermectin, so then it's not a big deal that Ivory shared her bugs since they all have them. Any mouse not coming from a reputable breeder is 99% guaranteed to have mites.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:15 pm

A 3 week quarantine also give you time to work with the new mouse and get them tamed up. Which makes introductions easier. Trust me. I learned that one the hard way.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:16 pm

So should I buy it or not? Twenty dollars sounds fine, I know that mites cause discomfort but they aren't life threatening right? I did notice Freya was scratching when she usually doesn't.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:18 pm

Buy it. It's important to get rid of mites before they start to cause distress or even OCD scratching. Most of us always treat incoming mice no matter what. I even do the first treatment before even putting a new mouse in their tank, so the mites don't have a chance to get established. They're not life threatening, but you really don't want any of your mice to develop OCD. It's a nightmare disease.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:21 pm

When mice get OCD do they scratch when they don't need to? Do you recommend a specific brand from Amazon?

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:59 pm

What is the situation right now? Are all the girls together? If not, I would finish up the three week quarantine to give Ivory a chance to settle in and get used to you. We quarantine mice for 2 reasons, to determine that they are healthy/not pregnant and to tame them up.

OCD is very common in mice. It causes them to scratch themselves uncontrollably, drawing blood and causing injury. Sometimes it's impossible to break the habit and they need to be put to sleep. It's very bad.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:24 pm

What does it mean when she squints her eyes?

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by MouseLover on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:27 pm

After quarantine, I like to swap items between the mouse cages to get them used to each other's scent. I swap toys and some bedding from each other's nests. I think it helps with them accepting each other because their scents become all jumbled up and they get used to smelling each other.

Then as others have said, it's very important to introduce them on neutral territory, and if that goes okay, transfer them to a very clean tank (so that no one has scent-marked it as their territory). I really recommend you read the links CallaLily posted. Hope it goes well.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by MouseLover on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:29 pm

Just my take on it - my mice squint their eyes a lot when they're just sniffing something really intensely. They also seem to do it when they're a bit nervous of another mouse. So it could be either of those things, or both.

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Re: What are the signs of bonding/acceptance?

Post by GabbiLuvsMice on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:35 pm

So should I continue quarantine? Or should I just let them introduce?

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