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Congenital Heart Disease/Failure

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Post by disastervibe Fri 02 Jul 2021, 6:08 pm

Does anyone have any experience with mice getting congenital heart failure? We're hoping it's just a nasty infection, but the vet says it's possible that one of my mice has congenital heart failure. I don't have the scans yet to confirm (will get them), but if it does happen I wanted to know if anyone here has had any experience with their mice developing CHF? I know with larger animals there may be medication and such, but I don't know how feasible that will be with a mouse.

Obviously, I'll (continue to) consult my vet, but I want a sense of what other people have done/how they've managed it, if possible. She's only 9.5 months old, I'm not ready for her to go yet, and her sister isn't ready either (she's been spending more time with her sister actually since she's fallen ill). If it's feasible and I can come up with the money for it, I would put her on any treatment plan necessary.

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Post by Dee67 Tue 06 Jul 2021, 8:28 pm

@disastervibe I had several ferrets with CHF and they were treated with a diuretic and beta blockers. I do not know if the dose could be adjusted for a 1 ounce or so mouse but no harm in asking a vet about it.
Also this from an article :
Rodents
Little information is available for cardiac disease in other small mammal species, although anecdotally it has been seen in a range of different species. Cardiac disease has been described in chinchillas following the onset of syncope, collapse or what appears to the owner to be seizure-like episodes (Goodman, 2011). Atrial thrombosis is commonly reported in hamsters secondary to heart failure, with patients usually presenting with cyanosis, tachypnoea and cold extremities (Brown and Donnelly, 2012) (Figure 7). Diagnostic work-up for small rodents is similar to above, ideally with assessment with radiography and echocardiography. Treatment is symptomatic and usually involves a combination of diuretics, ACE inhibitors and, in the case of hamsters, can include prophylactic anticoagulants (Brown and Donnelly, 2012).

It is important to remember when treating cardiac disease in small exotic mammals that all drugs are off licence and most dosages have been extrapolated from companion animal medicine.

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Post by disastervibe Fri 09 Jul 2021, 7:11 pm

Thanks for this info! At the moment she's doing a little better (still panting and not as active, but she's eating the KMR and her favourite treats again, isn't losing weight so much, and is a little bit more perky), so the vet and I decided we'd continue with the antibiotics for now and see if she improves any. We're trying to avoid having to put her under sedation (we would need to in order to have her CT scanned) because that's a risky procedure. It's good to know there may be a possible treatment if the worst were to happen.

@Dee67 wrote:@disastervibe I had several ferrets with CHF and they were treated with a diuretic and beta blockers. I do not know if the dose could be adjusted for a 1 ounce or so mouse but no harm in asking a vet about it.
Also this from an article :
Rodents
Little information is available for cardiac disease in other small mammal species, although anecdotally it has been seen in a range of different species. Cardiac disease has been described in chinchillas following the onset of syncope, collapse or what appears to the owner to be seizure-like episodes (Goodman, 2011). Atrial thrombosis is commonly reported in hamsters secondary to heart failure, with patients usually presenting with cyanosis, tachypnoea and cold extremities (Brown and Donnelly, 2012) (Figure 7). Diagnostic work-up for small rodents is similar to above, ideally with assessment with radiography and echocardiography. Treatment is symptomatic and usually involves a combination of diuretics, ACE inhibitors and, in the case of hamsters, can include prophylactic anticoagulants (Brown and Donnelly, 2012).

It is important to remember when treating cardiac disease in small exotic mammals that all drugs are off licence and most dosages have been extrapolated from companion animal medicine.

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Post by Dee67 Sat 10 Jul 2021, 3:29 am

Let's keep our fingers crossed that she is on the mend with the antibiotics. Keep us up to date, please and thanks.

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Post by disastervibe Mon 02 Aug 2021, 1:18 am

TW: Pet death, discussion of euthanasia

Sorry for the long gap between updates, it's been very busy on my end and I just haven't had the emotional/energetic bandwidth.

We continued the antibiotics for a total of two weeks, but she did not improve and continued to gradually lose weight. I believe that the little bit of increased energy I saw was probably because she was eating the KMR whereas before she had stopped eating altogether. By that point I felt she was too weak to undergo sedation and a CT scan, and I didn't want to put her through the stress of that anyway, and just looking into her eyes I could tell it was time. The plan I had made with the vet about possible euthanasia was that he would prescribe and dispense some cotton balls dipped in anaesthesia, I would have her inhale the fumes at home, she would fall asleep somewhere familiar and comfortable, and then I would take her into the vet so he could confirm there was either no pulse or he could give her the shot to end her suffering. Unfortunately, he only works two days a week and the other people at the clinic don't feel comfortable treating mice themselves, so I would need to wait until he would be in. I figured that I would use that time to start preparing for some new mice to introduce eventually as companions to Tulip (her sister) who would be alone after Dandelion passed (I really wanted to minimise the time Tulip would have to spend alone because I wasn't sure if she'd start declining after losing her sister).

I stopped the antibiotics and weight checks but continued hand feeding her KMR multiple times a day and did my best to make her as comfortable as possible in her final days. Dandelion did not make it until the doctor would be on his shift, and she passed away July 22nd. I wish I had realised and gone to get the anaesthesia earlier and end her discomfort sooner, but her passing was as gentle as I was able to make it.  Sad She is buried in the yard underneath a hanging flower basket serving as a grave marker.

The local Humane Society often has mice and while none were available right after Dandelion passed, I was able to go today and confirm the sex of two female mice (who have both been kept together at the Humane Society and get along) that just recently came out of holding and bring them home to quarantine before having them meet Tulip. Their names are Petal and Rain, and Petal has been coming up to me every time I've had to walk by their new cage, so she seems pretty friendly (don't worry though, I haven't been trying to handle them yet or anything lol). They're both very active, exploring tons and appear to be settling in well so far. Luckily, while Tulip hasn't been as active and has possibly been eating a bit less, she is still eating and periodically running on her wheel. She's also been coming up to see me more, which is bittersweet because it always used to be Dandelion who was the friendly one, so I do think she is a bit lonely. I'll be keeping an eye on Tulip and her weight in case I need to cut quarantine for the new mice short, but so far she seems okay.

RIP Dandelion, I hope you have peace and joy in your next life and that you enjoyed at least most of your time in this one. I'll be looking out for your sister. <3

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Post by Dee67 Tue 03 Aug 2021, 7:02 am

You did the very best for Dandelion you could and she's at peace. I'm glad Tulip will have some new sisters, they sound wonderful and they're lucky to have a new home with you. Put some pics on when you get a chance and let us know how they all get along when blended.

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Post by disastervibe Wed 04 Aug 2021, 1:10 am

@Dee67 wrote:You did the very best for Dandelion you could and she's at peace. I'm glad Tulip will have some new sisters, they sound wonderful and they're lucky to have a new home with you. Put some pics on when you get a chance and let us know how they all get along when blended.

Thanks Dee67, that means a lot. Here's some pics of them, they're all blurry because the girls won't hold still lol. The grey and white one is Petal and the black one is Rain (who I sometimes call Raindrop). The cage is small for my taste (Ferplast Favola, ~339 sq. in of floor space), but it's just the temporary quarantine cage, they'll be moving to a Prevue 528 once blended if all goes well. Plus, they were in a much smaller tank at the humane society, so it's still an upgrade for them.

Congenital Heart Disease/Failure Img_9210
Congenital Heart Disease/Failure Img_9211
Congenital Heart Disease/Failure Img_9212

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Post by Dee67 Thu 05 Aug 2021, 4:09 am

It's a lovely cage setup really, perfect for quarantine etc. Mice are so hard to pose 😆.

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Post by disastervibe Sun 08 Aug 2021, 5:32 am

@Dee67 wrote:It's a lovely cage setup really,  perfect for quarantine etc. Mice are so hard to pose 😆.

Thanks! They've buried the cardboard drink holder and their wooden log that I put in the middle of the cage so you can't see them, presumably they did that to incorporate them into their tunnels.

The one thing I do really appreciate about this Ferplast cage is that the bottom is clear and I can see some portions of their tunnels without disturbing them! Very cute to sometimes spot them sleeping in them during the day. If they added a second, larger door and made the materials sturdier I wouldn't have any complaints. My girls love the the bars, having been in a tank at the shelter with literally nothing in it that they could climb (they only had a wheel, one hide, an inch of bedding, food and water there Congenital Heart Disease/Failure 1f626), so they're having a good time now, and constantly come up to greet me already!

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