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Rabbits and mice, potential health issues

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Rabbits and mice, potential health issues

Post by middlemuse on Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:30 pm

I have a pet rabbit, Aria, and I'm looking into getting pet mice a few months from now. I wanted to pick your brains about any potential health risks to either the rabbit or the mice from being housed in the same area of my apartment.

Aria is in good health. She eats orchard grass hay (I'm allergic to timothy). Potential concerns for the mice are dust or mites from the hay. Unfortunately the best location (logistically) for the mice in my small apartment would be directly above the hay storage area. Would this be too risky in terms of dust? I buy Oxbow hay, but in 50 lb boxes, and in bulk it does still carry some dust, especially as the rabbit digs around in it. Would it be better to keep the mice on the other side of the room?

Are there any other diseases I should know about that can be communicated between mice and rabbits? Obviously I'll wash my hands before and after handling the mice, but I'd still like to know the risks. I'd also like to know if it would be safe to use the same dustpan and brush to clean up after the mice as I do to clean the rabbit's cage, or if I should have separate materials.

Thank you from me and the Ariabunny!

Edited to add that under no conditions would Aria be interacting directly with the mice. I'm only considering risks of housing the animals near each other, not in direct contact.

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Re: Rabbits and mice, potential health issues

Post by DVirginiana on Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:58 pm

I'd say quarantine the mouse in a separate room for about three weeks just to be safe. Rodents are bad to pass respiratory issues around between each other, so you don't want to deal with your rabbit catching something like that. Afterward, I'd suggest putting him on the other side of the room from the hay. It might not cause a problem, but better safe than sorry.

Also I'd recommend getting your mouse from either PetSmart or a mom and pop petstore that allows you to return them if they get sick (PetSmart actually allows you to return them for treatment then take them back once they're better). I say that because if you notice respiratory issues, you don't want to have another rodent in the same house as yours any longer than it needs to be.

After quarantine, I see no issue with using the same equipment for both.
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Re: Rabbits and mice, potential health issues

Post by CallaLily on Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:43 am

I don't have any experience with rabbits and I don't know what, if anything, can be passed between the two. But as long as you quarantine the new pet, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Quarantine

With hay comes some risk of parasites and allergies.  I have occasionally given my mice a bit of hay for nesting before but I know some choose to avoid it entirely. I don't think it would be an issue stored nearby but just something to watch for.
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Hay is briefly mentioned here in the article on bedding.

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Re: Rabbits and mice, potential health issues

Post by River on Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:01 pm

Rabbits are not rodents, so I'm not particularly concerned about the risk of them sharing diseases. They're not closely enough related. 

I give my mice hay regularly. If you treat for mites it shouldn't be a problem.

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