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Old Age or Something Else?

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Old Age or Something Else?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:40 pm

So lately, their old age has been starting to catch up to Mabel and Rosie a little. They're still themselves and very happy, but they've been slowing down a little. They don't use the wheel anymore (or at least they don't use the flying saucer, and I have to see how they treat the silent spinner next week), and they prefer to relax and snuggle rather than run around. That's fine! I mean, they are coming up to their second birthdays, after all. I expected as much.

However, I've noticed a couple things with Rosie that are odd, and I can't pin down whether it's just her old age or something else. The first thing is that sometimes, she'll just stand in one place in kind of a hunched position and just stare into space. It's weird. She'll do it mainly when she's on top of a tower or on the flying saucer, which is on a platform, so in high places. It looks to me like she just gets tired, but I'm not certain. I got a video. Apologies, as it's dark, but hopefully you can see. 



And another thing is that her weight has gone down a little. For the entirety of her life, she was pretty stable at 32g. A few weeks ago she moved down to 30g, and now she's hovering between 28-29g. Weight loss makes me pretty wary in my pets after all that's happened, but at this point it's only a couple of grams.

So my question is, does this seem like normal old age stuff, or should I be concerned? If she loses anymore weight, I'm seriously considering taking her to the vet. Something that does concern me, though, is that after the tapeworm incident, Mabel never regained her lost weight. She's still in the mid 30s. I'm getting worried that maybe the tapeworm wasn't fully eradicated, and it's now transferred to Rosie, but I can't be sure. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by scaredymouse on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:17 am

is she breathing heavy or fast? that's the only time I've ever seen my mice just stand there like that. activity seemed to just make them short of breath so they had to sit there and catch their breath. gilly and furgie, despite being elderly, still run around like kids. they look really rough, but that doesn't slow them down. weight loss is not uncommon with age, but 2 grams isn't too concerning.

I would just keep a close eye on her for now.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:27 am

She seems to be breathing pretty normally when she does it, but I'll take a closer look when I see her do it again. I'm glad to see we're on the same page. I'll just keep a close eye on her.

Gilly and Furgie are lucky to have those young ladies putting some spunk in them! I'd love to get a young lass or two to encourage all my old ladies (plus honorary old lady Egg) to get some exercise, but I gotta hold off on new girls so I can keep myself at 10gal tanks only.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by MouseLover on Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:30 am

When my mice have gotten around 2 they have begun to lose weight. My 2 year 7 month old mouse was the tiniest little thing by the end and she even started to go a little bit bald so she looked terrible, bless her.

She doesn't look in pain, so as long as her breathing seems okay and she has no other symptoms, I would chalk it up to old age. I love the calmness of old mice, they're so chilled out haha (well, except for Gilly and Furgie by the sounds of it).

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by MesaMouse on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:35 pm

Just sounds like the normal aging process. When my last two ladies closed in on two years old, they no longer used the saucer and showed only moderate interest in the comfort wheel, preferring to eat a bit (greatest interest was in Cheerios) and sleep a lot. Cordelia, my last mouse, is almost 26 months old and spends most of the daylight hours in her purple ceramic gourd. She is, however, still interested when the Cheerios appear in her bowl in the evening and was actually on the Comfort wheel last night and was bopping around the tank a bit, darting into/out of the egg carton. She, too, is not as chunky as she'd been but her satin coat is still shiny, she's grooming herself as usual, comes when called and sucks down those nightly Cheerios!

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:11 pm

I just did a tank cleaning and saw Mabel running on the silent spinner, so the girls will definitely have the silent spinner permanently. Henry likes the saucer a lot (he picked it up very quickly), so that will be his, but I'll probably also get him a silent spinner since he likes both and it can be hard to fit the saucers in a 10gal.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by peas on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:17 pm

Seems like she is a little depressed. I think when they get like that it's because they aren't sure what they want to do next so they sort of hover in autopilot as they have no strong pull in any direction.

It could also be a little bit of pain, working through the same mechanism of action. "i kind of want to run, but i am sore, so i kind of don't" but expressing itself in just sort of a dazed stillness.


I've had several mice die of various illnesses and half of them started to act like that more and more as they got worse. The amount of discomfort they were in limited their desire to do anything.

The little video doesn't seem too bad, it's once they start doing that for prolonged periods of time without the grooming or itching. If they are still eating and drinking and exploring that's good. If they start just sitting or laying in one spot for a long time, then move to another spot to not do anything in that's when it's very close to the end, assuming it's not a curable illness of some sort.

Though, another possibility is she's trying to sleep with her eyes open. I've had mice that do that. My mouse Thutty does that. She'll sit in her wheel and look like she's awake, but she isn't.



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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by MouseLover on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:36 pm

I really doubt she's depressed. Mice get depressed from living alone, or having a boring cage with nothing to do inside. Cinnamon's mice are in a happy, bonded little group, and live in a nice cage and are well taken care of, so I don't see why she'd be depressed. Rosie's face in the video really doesn't look like she's in pain either. So I really think old age is much more likely.

Out of interest, what makes you think Thutty is asleep when her eyes are open? I have never ever heard of mice sleeping with their eyes open...

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:22 pm

No, Rosie isn't depressed. She only does that sometimes. She's still very happy and eager to come out and play and snuggle.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by CallaLily on Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:33 pm

The video makes me think of times when I've went into the next room to do something but when I get there I can't remember what it was, so I stand there lost. Laughing I either remember or I shrug my shoulders and continue on to something else.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by MouseLover on Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:40 pm

LOL CallaLily Laugh I think you're right, they're old biddies now so they get forgetful Wink

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by Brynne on Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:57 am

It's something to do with thresholds. Walking into another room clears our mind so that it is fresh and ready to face the new experiences we will encounter there.

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by scaredymouse on Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:47 am

my Goose sleeps with his eyes open sometimes, always has. Freaks me out! me and him both got quite a scare the first time i saw him sleeping with his eyes open. naturally, since i have never seen a mouse sleep with their eyes open, I assumed he was awake. so he was laying on top of his hammock with his eyes open and i walk up and say "hi Goobie!". well, he practically did a backflip and just about jumped out of his skin and i'm pretty sure i screamed. we were both quite startled. now i see him laying around with his eyes open... i tread lightly!

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by MouseLover on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:55 am

That's crazy scaredymouse! Strange little buck you have there Laughing

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Re: Old Age or Something Else?

Post by peas on Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:42 pm


what makes you think Thutty is asleep when her eyes are open?


She doesn't react to anything. She's perfectly still, no itching, no grooming, no ears moving to any new sounds and no looking at me with anticipation when i move closer. If she were awake, she'd be doing something, especially getting excited when my face gets closer and closer to her.

But she has no reaction at all, because she's asleep! The first time it happened, since i worried she might be dead, i called her name when my face was like 2 inches from her and she totally freaked out and ran across the cage. Though her eyes were open, she had no idea i was that close.

It does look odd though. Eyes are wide open too, not half closed like a tired mouse trying to fall asleep.



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