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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Letting a wild mouse and a tame rat socialize

My name is Oscar Rat and I'm a famous fiction writer. Being a virtual rat, I talked my human companion, Charlie, into taking in three tame males. One, Sasa, loves to run around on the floor. He's let out every morning for an hour or so, and comes when called. I also have a wild housemouse named Jeff. He considers the floor as his own property. At first, Charlie tried humane traps to catch Jeff. One time, he even caught him in the rat cage, eating from their bowl. He was groggy and Charlie grabbed him by hand. Then, Jeff was taken out in the cornfield and left loose, with a large chunk of chocolate to tide him over until he could find gainful employment. That night, Jeff was back, and angry. He's not as trusting as before. I told Charlie to feed him, so Jeff gets fed well, in his own food and water bowls in a bedroom. Jeff has been around for almost two years now, and is very large for a mouse. After one accident, he leaves electric cords alone. After biting into one, he ate only cookie soaked in milk for a couple of weeks. Well, my one rat, Sasa, found he could jump off the couch and loves to run on the floor. Recently, he and Jeff have met--several times. They seem friendly, so far. Jeff is about half Sasa's size. In a fight, I don't know which I would bet on. Sasa is a gentle rat, never starting fights among his fellows, and never biting Charlie. Jeff is very fast, and Sasa seems fat and slow. They are both very well-fed, so hunger wouldn't be an issue. My question is, is it safe for both of them on the floor together? Oscar Rat, the famous rodent fiction writer. (Google for my work.)
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 11:24 AM
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I'm a little confused but no do not let them play together.





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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 03:05 AM
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I am not sure that this is a serious post or not.

Do not let them play together, wild mice normally have bad diseases that a domestic rat should not be in contact with, along with you. and also chocolate is a HORRIBLE diet for animals, don't feed them that.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'm serious. The mouse has been living with me for about two years. I image any disease would be obvious by now. As far as I know, he's well fed and healthy. When I feed the rats, I also fill a bowl with mousefood, carrots, nuts, and the like for the mouse. I'd been letting the Rat, Sasa, out to play between my computer desk, me on my chair, and a large couch. Somehow, either jumping or falling off, he found he CAN get down to the floor. Now, everytime I take him out, he heads for the floor. Since he comes when called, I've been letting him have his way. That's how he came in contact with the mouse. For most of the time with me, the mouse has kept to my bedroom, afraid of a cat I had. Since the cat died, Jeff Mouse, has had exclusive run of the house. I caught the two facing off on the living room floor, about a foot or so apart, checking each other out. When I stood, the mouse ran and I picked the rat up and returned him to his cage. The mouse is a large one and the rat, at most, twice his size. They seemed only curious of each other, but I didn't want to take a chance. Charlie, (Oscar's human.)
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Rat View Post
The mouse has been living with me for about two years. I image any disease would be obvious by now.
Not necessarily... Taken from this site: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disea...spirosis_g.htm

Quote:
Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person
I've seen several cases of Lepto when I worked in the vet clinic, usually related to dogs exposed to wild mice. Be aware that lepto also affects humans and does liver and kidney damage. Also, the mouse can have mites or internal parasites that you may not see any symptoms unless you are constantly looking at the mouse (like lots of scratching, for example) and these might also pass on to your rats.

Dimaris

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 11:51 PM
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also if one mouse can get in... others can too. And really, they are hard to tell apart.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I may be wrong, Kendalle, but I'm pretty sure this is the same one. The time I set him in the field and he came back, I checked some mouse fancier sites. I was told it was common for wild mice, once they found a home they liked, to come back in. Afterward, I was washing clothes and saw a mouse-head staring at me from the entrance to the drain pipe. I traced the pipe to where the water let out, which was under a back porch. I sealed that hole. I live in one of those large mobile-homes I inherited when my father died. He had a mouse problem every two or three years was all, and I live in a rural area. So I don't think there are a lot of holes for them to get in. The manufacturers try to make these places airtight. Unlike a proper home, they're off the ground without much piping underneath. I checked the drainpipes under the house and they were all sealed. That may well have been the only entrance. Also, with Jeff Mouse living with me for around two-years, I've seen him change. He must be an old mouse by now. At first, he was small enough to get through the bars of the rat cage to eat their food (that was before I started feeding him.) Now he's the largest mouse I ever saw, the size of a young rat (probably from the good living.) Like with pet critters, I've found Jeff has his own personality. As a teenager, I had four housemice as pets, so he's not the first I've known. At first, he was into everything, sometimes even the top shelves of closets. I had to mouse-proof them. Now, that activity has slowly decreased until he never leaves the floor, and hasn't for a long time. I can even keep silverware in the drawer again. My underwear drawer stays free from stored food. I recall the time he got into my pantry closet, where I store canned and boxed food. Overnight--literally--he caused about $30 damage. I know it was overnight because It was alright when I took some soup out for supper. The next morning, it was a mess. Jeff had dug into every box and bag on shelves going up over six-feet. Flour, dried beans, cereal, and noodles were scattered around all the shelves and floor. I had to throw all those things away, containers and all, then clean up the mess. The clincher was Jeff. He was on one of the higher shelves, looking down at me. When I grabbed at him, he hopped down, shelf by shelf, to the floor. These days, like I said, he doesn't leave the floor. Then their was the time, while I was lying on my bed one night, when he got bitten by an extension cord. Hearing a scuffle and squeak, along with a smell of ozone, I looked over the side of the bed in time to see him running under a dresser. He hasn't bitten a cord since then. It must have hurt his mouth or teeth, because I noticed he wasn't eating much, only nibbling a little on crackers or the like--enough so I knew he wasn't dead. I fed him milk with some cookie and cracker crumbs soaked in it, for about two weeks, before harder foodstuffs finally disappeared from his food bowls. Up until a few months ago, I had an old cat. The cat, for some reason I never did fathom, never entered my bedroom. I think my father trained it not to. So the mouse lived in that room, rarely leaving. When the cat died, Jeff started roaming the house. Now, since my one rat found out he can get to the floor by himself, he's constantly after me to let him out. Before that revelation, Sasa, like the other two rats, was content to run around on the couch, jumping to my armchair, then onto my computer desk, which has a lot of cubbyholes. Now, he'll almost immediately jump to the floor to explore his new kingdom. I'd like to rat-proof a room to let the rat run around in, but never know just where the mouse might be hiding. So, that's my problem. As for diseases, I'll take a chance with Jeff. I think those are caused by city mice, and not the types that live in rural areas. Here, a sick mouse doesn't survive long in the wild, and lives in a cleaner environment. They don't crawl in sewers or other such nasty places. Like with us humans, it's a healthier place to live (except for predators) for a mouse. Charlie
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 12:45 PM
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... You first post is very confusing... I would reccomend you post as yourself, not a virtual rat or what ever.
Its great that your being so nice to the litle mousey in you house, but he definatly could hve problem that could transfer to your rat- He could have mites, or other dideases. Even if he lives in a cleaner area, there are no doubt other nasty thing he could still get into.
You rat could also kill little Jeff if he wanted too, and vice versa.
Personally, I wouldnt let them near each other. Do you think you could lure Jeff into a cage or something durring you ratties floor time?



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'm just sentimental in my old age. Having rats as pets I, at first, hesitated in killing Jeff. As a young man, I liked to hunt. In Vietnam, I didn't hesitate killing people who were trying to kill me. Now, though, I hate to kill anything. After all this time, Jeff is an old man and would have trouble adjusting to cage life. I think he would be miserable either alone in a cage, or with other mice around. He's almost a member of the family and not much trouble anymore. For the last few days, I've kept Sasa Rat in his cage, and will have to let it go at that. I don't want to take any chances. Jeff is nearly at the end of his life, so I'll let him finish in peace, alone ... but still loved. The reason I signed on as Oscar Rat is that he's a character I write under on fiction sites. Oscar has even sold a few stories for real money. It's how I got interested in pet rats. Since I wrote rodent oriented fiction, why not have real ones as pets? Charlie
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 04:34 PM
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I didnt mean to keep him in a cage forever... Just while your rat is having his floor time. When your rat goes back in the cage, you can let Jeff out of his. C:



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Wouldn't work, Jess. Jeff doesn't trust me enough to get into a cage. I feel guilty about that, since it's my fault. What first ingratiated Jeff to me was the first time I saw him. I was shaving and, for some reason, looked down. A small mouse was sitting on the rounded top of the long handle of my toilet plunger, watching me. Saying hello to the little feller, I slowly reached down. He almost let me touch him before jumping to the floor and running into the bedroom. I'd never seen such a brave mouse. Nevertheless, I bought some humane mousetraps and tried to catch him. He avoided all of them. A week or so later, I was having my morning coffee when I saw activity in the rat cage. Little Jeff was small enough to squeeze through the bars, and was gorging himself on the rat's food. He didn't see me, or didn't care, as I reached in and picked him up. Grabbing a chunk of an open candybar, I took it and him out in the field and let him go. That night, he was back. Now, before you say it, I'm pretty sure it's the same mouse. They're not not all that common at my place, and the chances of another in that short period is slight. Anyway, now he doesn't trust me as much. He's probably afraid of being dumped out in all that cold and snow. I'd never get him to agree to wait in a cage while a rat inspects HIS property. Charlie
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 09:00 PM
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Ok, well.. now that we know that the mouse is here to stay... i think we need to talk a little about mouse care..

What are you feeding him? if you are set in keeping him you should give him a good lab block, you mention that he is very large and that maybe because he is obease so you need to cut back on any junk food if you are feeding him. also cut back on seeds and corn as they are very fatty for mice and rats as well.

You should be feeding the same to you rats so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle for you to feed lab blocks in two places the rat cage and where ever you feed your mouse.

If your mouse is fat it may be the reason he sticks to the floor. you could also make some fun things for your mouse to play on and just leave it on the floor.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I plead guilty, Kendalle. On a typical feeding for the rats, I keep lab blocks and small bowl of dry cat food in their cage. Also, a few of the following, alternating--usually around 10-11 p.m. Usually a selection of about half a dozen of them, a piece for each rat. Fresh vegetables-- corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower (All from frozen), lettuce, carrots. Sometimes a few slices of apple. Maybe some chunk cheese. Some sort of sweet, like a crumbled cookie. Sometimes cornbread, biscuit, a piece of whole wheat or rye bread. (I have type 2 diabetes so I can't eat sweets or white bread.) The mouse gets some of the above, though he doesn't like fresh veggies, except carrots. He also gets peanuts and a kind of "small animal food." Go ahead and blast me. Charlie
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 10:06 PM
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Just switch to something a little more healthy like the lab blocks and cut out the cookie the veggies are ok, however fresh is better for both of you but frozen is ok. Cut out most of the cheese and the small animal food if you can and give mostly lab blocks.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Will do, Kendalle. I don't know about Sasa Rat, though. He's mad enough about not being allowed to run around HIS floor, without cutting out his cookie too. A couple of weeks ago, he showed me his human toe collection. Gross. Now I'll have to wear my boots to bed. Charlie
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