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Anyone know what this is?

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Post by Inaiyau Wed 30 Jun 2021, 9:35 am

I'll start from the beginning. (It'll be long, sorry)

Back in November, I got three does from a feeder breeder. She breeds for snakes, so she doesn't have any goals towards health and such.
The youngest, Tallulah, was a small self/satin black doe.
Yuridia was the middle kid, she's a decent-sized RY doe.
And my oldest and biggest, Zuriel, is a tan kiddo with a grey (top?) coat.

I lost Tallulah back in March. A spunky little thing, I often joked she had ADHD and was on a constant sugar high. I took her to a vet near us for sneezing, they gave us a round of meds, I can't remember what, and had me dose all of them.
Nothing from then on until February.
In February she started to lose weight, some of her spunkiness, and just in general got quieter. She still moved around and ate and drank normally. But towards the end of March, she started to get hunched back and kind of waddled when she walked and breathed heavily. But she didn't seem in pain, there were no cries/sounds when she moved or when I handled her. I took her into two separate vets, tried a few medications, and one morning she just dropped over and had what I can only describe as a heart attack. She breathed heavily and fast, twitched a few times, then just went still.
Recently, about a month ago, my oldest Zuriel, started to behave the same. She was a very pudgy kid, and in a span of two weeks lost almost all of her weight. She's behaving very much the same as Tallulah. She's gotten quieter but still eats and drinks and moves around.
I took her to a different vet than the ones I took Tallulah to, and they did stool sampling and felt her for any bumps and such. Everything came back normal. We recently got in contact with the lady I got them from, and she said she's lost a few to a similar thing. She conducted necropsies of hers and found what could be described as tumors inside their bellies. I've been told my only option left is to take her to a university for a blood draw, but I researched how that works and I don't want to put her through such a risky and dangerous procedure.
They don't have contact with any other mice. The other pets we have is a 5 1/2 yr old guinea pig with heart issues (genetic, common in pigs) and a small dog. But they stay out in the living room. They have been introduced before but no issues following it. In their immediate vicinity, I have six betta fish tanks, all healthy except for a few deformities and special needs (bought this way), and two female Madagascar hissing roaches that I have on the other side of the room away from them.
I give them a variety of dried fruits and vegetables, a seed mix, timothy hay, a seed mix with treats and pellets, and the pellets they give to laboratory mice. I double-check before I give them anything new, so I don't believe I've given them anything dangerous? They also have constant access to freshwater.
I also spot-clean every 1-2 days and do a full bedding change once a week. They're in a cage designed for hamsters I guess, but it's the length of a ten-gallon and a couple of inches wider.

Anyways, I guess my point is, has anyone dealt with this before?? Is it something genetic or something I caused?? Is there anything I can do to help her?? Or does anyone know what it is at least??
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Post by River Wed 30 Jun 2021, 9:55 pm

How old were they, if you have any guess? Were they adults when you got them? If so, it could simply be cancer developed during old age -- not at all uncommon, the poor things. When my old mice hit their time, the symptoms are always the same...and always much like this. That said my three boys are my first breeder mice, so who knows what it'll be like this time. I hate to think of it!

I bring this up because when I looked into it, gastric cancer seemed to be the most common cause of masses in the stomach. The only other thing I can think of is potentially cysts...? I would guess it's something in the lines, but very hard to say without a more professional necropsy. Props to her for carrying one out herself, though. It's good information for you.

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Post by Inaiyau Thu 01 Jul 2021, 11:15 am

They were adults when I got them, Zuriel is around a year, maybe a bit older currently.

Okay, thank you so much! I was starting to wonder that. Do you know of anything that may possibly help? Or, is it just keep her comfortable? It's probably just that time like you said though, sadly.
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Post by River Fri 02 Jul 2021, 5:53 pm

When I had mice with external masses, I just kept them on Metacam (a pet approved pain killer) until I thought they were no longer capable of enjoying life. At that point (preferably a bit before that point), I would sadly recommend euthanizing. Unfortunately if it is cancer, there's not much to be done except for lots of spoiling.

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*Neutered male group. Do not house intact males together.*

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Post by Inaiyau Fri 02 Jul 2021, 6:02 pm

Alright, thank you!
She doesn't seem in pain at the moment but as soon as I notice she is I'll take her in and see what the better option is.
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