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Post by akitaken Fri 29 Jul 2016, 7:39 pm

I recently transferred from TFM. I only have one mouse currently, but I came here looking for advice on whether or not to get her a friend. She's quite old, (around 3) and her last cagemate died recently. I know she'd be happier with a friend, but I'm worried the stress of meeting a new mouse might not be healthy for her! She's a feeder mouse, so she's REALLY slowing down at this point. She's also not at all friendly towards people. Should I try and look for a younger mouse or an older one as a friend for her, if any?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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Post by Peachy Fri 29 Jul 2016, 7:59 pm

Welcome, akitaken! Three years is impressive. Smile Do you intend to continue keeping mice after she's passed?

If you want to give it a shot and continue keeping a group of girls, a mouse or two who are calm and friendly, no matter their age, would probably be best. Introductions can be stressful though, and it gets even harder when the mice are untamed. When I had an older lady on her own, plenty of attention and interesting toys/treats from me seemed to keep her happy enough.
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Post by MouseLover Sat 30 Jul 2016, 7:27 am

Wow 3 years is very very old! You must have taken great care of your mouse Smile

I think this really depends on whether you want to keep more mice. If you don't, well I think she'll be okay on her own. But if you want new mice anyway, then I don't think there'd be any harm in trying to introduce new friends to her. I have had old mice who really enjoyed the company of younger mice, and seemed to perk up around them.

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Post by CinnamonPearl Sat 30 Jul 2016, 8:32 am

Welcome to the new forum!

I'm with everyone else. If you're looking to exit the hobby, now is your opportunity. But if not, and you want to continue keeping a group of girls, you may as well go for it. Evidence shows that'll living with younger mice helps old ladies to perk up and be active again.

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Post by Rodents rock! Sat 30 Jul 2016, 12:48 pm

Welcome! Wow, three years old is very impressive Very Happy
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Post by scaredymouse Sun 31 Jul 2016, 4:51 pm

Like others have pointed out, it really depends on if you want to continue keeping mice as pets for another few years. I can't imagine your girl will be with you too much longer either way... three is ancient. However, like you said, she doesn't really like people so you can't provide any social companionship to her. You might want to let her decide. If she starts showing signs of depression, maybe consider getting her a friend. The other consideration is that new mice need to go through a 3 week quarantine period, there is the chance that she could pass while mice are still in quarantine. So often, older mice who lose their lifelong companion die shortly after. It's not necessarily a bad thing, you see it in people too. It's not so much that they are depressed as they are just ready to go.

I'm not sure I made your decision any easier... I have a mouse that is 27 months old. She has a best friend the same age but they are also part of group of 5 mice. I know when one of them goes, they other will follow shortly thereafter. I don't think it will matter if there are friends around. If it was just the two of them though, I don't think I would try to bring in a new mouse. I wouldn't want a poor little new mouse to have to go through losing their friend so soon either.

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Post by akitaken Mon 01 Aug 2016, 3:55 pm

I really do want to continue keeping mice, especially after I recently invested a good deal of money in cages and stuff for them to do, but I'd like to wait until I can get mice that are actually friendly.  I also currently have 21 other pets, many of which have issues of their own, so I think it may be the end of mouse keeping for now. Sad But, of course, I will get another mouse if I think it's what's best for Brisby, and it's not like mice are particularly difficult to maintain.


@scaredymouse wrote:Like others have pointed out, it really depends on if you want to continue keeping mice as pets for another few years.  I can't imagine your girl will be with you too much longer either way... three is ancient.  However, like you said, she doesn't really like people so you can't provide any social companionship to her.  You might want to let her decide.  If she starts showing signs of depression, maybe consider getting her a friend.  The other consideration is that new mice need to go through a 3 week quarantine period, there is the chance that she could pass while mice are still in quarantine.  So often, older mice who lose their lifelong companion die shortly after.  It's not necessarily a bad thing, you see it in people too.  It's not so much that they are depressed as they are just ready to go.

I'm not sure I made your decision any easier...  I have a mouse that is 27 months old.  She has a best friend the same age but they are also part of group of 5 mice.  I know when one of them goes, they other will follow shortly thereafter.  I don't think it will matter if there are friends around.  If it was just the two of them though, I don't think I would try to bring in a new mouse.  I wouldn't want a poor little new mouse to have to go through losing their friend so soon either.

What would you say are the signs of depression in mice? Also, she's a bit sick and I'm not sure if the ends justify the means. I'm afraid even if she would like a friend, the initial introduction would stress her out & make her respiratory issues worse.


The good news is that I do have a friend who's mouse I could take in, and I think it'd be reasonable to ignore the quarantine period because I know for a fact this mouse is as healthy as a feeder mouse is gonna get. I'll look into the depression thing and give her some stuff fun to do regardless though :~)

Do you guys have any advice on keeping elderly mice happy & healthy? Walk
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Post by scaredymouse Mon 01 Aug 2016, 6:55 pm

Depression manifests itself in changes in behavior, like if she used to run in the wheel a lot then suddenly stops, isn't interested in her favorite treat anymore.... Basically unusual behavior.

At the end of the day, you need to be realistic about the situation. She can't possibly have much time left. If you get one more mouse, you will soon find yourself in the same situation. If you decide that she shouldn't be alone, you should really consider adding two mice. Or maybe just let her go be with her friend. It's a tough call for sure. It pains me that we can't just ask them what want...

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Lady mice: stormy, Dahlia, lily, Ella billie, coco, maggie
Gentleman mice: milo, jimmy
Other pets: Little Buddy, Kevin (cats) robert, lulu, Englebert, harold, Gerald, Zumi, nico, charlie, (hamsters), stella (gerbil), Gilly (hedgehog)
Rainbow Angel  Penny, Honeybun, Lucy, Annie, Gilly, Furgie, Tedward Wigglesworth, Olivia, Goose, Sweet Katie, Binky, Delilah, Bitsy, Boopers, Sprout, Splotchy, Eva, Slappy, Shuggie, Fancy Pants, Jellybean, Charlie, Murray, Sally, Maya, Gunther, Lil Smokey, Magnus, Norman, Winnie, Sally, George, Harriet, Spec, Erzulie, Lucille, Agatha and Clementine.
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