Wheel Tail

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Wheel Tail

Post by Bthny on Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:12 pm

One of my new mice (who I've had for almost a month) still has wheel tail. Her tail curls up both on and off the wheel. Her sister also had wheel tail when I first got her, but it's relaxed since then, and my older girl has never had it. Does anyone have suggestions on how to fix it? They had mesh wheels in their pet store cage, so I think it curled up to stop it from getting caught, but I have plastic ones so that's not a risk. I've read that bigger wheels can help, but since one mouse is no longer affected and the other never was, I didn't think that's the answer either. Is there anything I can do if it's a habit now? She's 2-3 months old, so is there anything I should look for, or be concerned about, as she ages?
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Re: Wheel Tail

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:17 pm

What type of wheels do you use, and how big are they? One of them might be too small. If not, though, then just be patient. The habit should relax eventually, so long as she's young.

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Re: Wheel Tail

Post by MouseLover on Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:46 pm

Yes, wheel tail is caused by a wheel that is too small. Mesh or plastic wheels shouldn't make a difference, as far as I know it's all about the size of the wheel. What size wheel do you have now?

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Re: Wheel Tail

Post by Bthny on Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:49 am

I have comfort wheels. I'm not sure of the exact size (I think over 6 inches), but their backs don't curve when they run. The mesh wheels they had in their cage at the store store looked small, and she came home with wheel tail, so I suspect that's what caused it. With the size of that wheel and the mesh squares, it definitely looked like the tip of the tail could get caught or hit by the mesh if she ran normally which is why I mentioned it. How long should it take for her tail to relax? As I said, she walks with it curled up over her back most of the time, and it hasn't seemed to relax at all since I got her, which makes me the most concerned.
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Re: Wheel Tail

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:06 am

Sometimes wheel tail is permanent. Mice naturally lift their tails a bit when they run, they lift it the same amount whether it's a mesh wheel or a solid wheel. It is caused by running on a wheel that is too small... it causes their tail to lift higher than normal which injures their lower backs. Over time it can lead to stiffness and arthritis. Especially if they were on small wheels while they were still growing, it can be irreversible.

Your best bet to is just to make sure they have large wheels to run on. I had a mouse with really bad wheel tail, I got her an 8" mesh wheel to share with her sisters which gave her lots of room to run normally. I also had a 7" flying saucer in the tank. The flying saucer offers the most natural running surface and it probably the best wheel for a mouse with wheel tail.

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Re: Wheel Tail

Post by Peachy on Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:01 am

I have two girls that were born here who have always flipped their tails in a sort of loop de loop, and they've never had a wheel too small. When I was worried about what it would mean for their health as they aged, I read that "wheel tail" can also just be caused by a tail set that is too high. Their mom did it, too. Small wheels aggravate it, but they might learn that it's okay to straighten it... or not. My girls are apparently a not.
On TFM, Norman's Mom also said that some mice just like holding it like that. lol
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