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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Mice and veterinary care

I am considering adopting a mouse or pair of mice from a shelter at some point in the future.

I initially wanted a rat (or a pair--I know that's better). But I've heard that there's a lot more time, money, and effort required to keep rats properly as compared to mice.

Is it considered "standard" to take mice in for surgeries like tumor removal, etc, like it is for rats?

From what I've read, most vets don't do surgeries on mice, the prognosis for mice after most surgeries isn't very good, and tumors/cancer/etc. tend to happen towards the end of the mouse's natural lifespan, so (assuming the mouse survives the operation) they normally just buy a little time, at the cost of stressing the mouse (in addition to the financial cost) and putting it at risk of surgical complications. I also read that if a mouse has tumors and you get them removed surgically, they'll probably come back just as bad as before.

In light of those things, would not treating a mouse's illnesses with surgery be considered a reasonable course of action if the mouse did get sick towards the end of its life?

If I got a mouse (or mice) I'd want to do what was best for them. It seems like to me in some cases the best thing would be to "let nature take its course" if they got tumors one day or something.

Am I off base here? Advice is appreciated.

PS: If my mouse got an infection or something I wouldn't be averse to taking it to a vet (if the vet knew what he/she was doing) and getting it antibiotics, if that's the standard of care for a mouse's infection). But I don't want a pet that will cost a lot of money to care for or require the stress (to both me and the animal) and the financial cost of putting through operations.

Last edited by MZE2; 01-28-2016 at 04:05 PM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 11:31 AM
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Hi! Ive had many mice over the past few years, so maybe I can help.

I've seen tumor removal done on a very young mouse... But you're correct, tumors generally come with age and/or incredibly bad breeding practices. Mice don't handle anesthesia well, so that's one concern. Another is that mice are so tiny that finding a vet who can perform such a delicate surgery can be tricky. And another... the tumor could come back so quickly that it will just bust through the old surgery site, meaning the vet's time, your time and money, and the mouse's healing time was all for nothing.

If your mouse a tumor (mammary tumors are so ridiculously common), it's best to take him to a vet just to make sure that it's not an abscess or hernia or anything. While there you can discuss quality of life and what to do when his time comes. I've had mice live with tumors for many months and pass of old age. It really just depends.

Treating mice for an infected wound or a URI is generally very easy and pretty cheap.

I hope I answered everything!
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