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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Spiny Mice...HELP!!

Hi guys. I have 2 spiny mice (sisters) and need advice. I've had them for a year and a half. They're sweet. curious, act like they looove me. THEN i think i can touch them....NOT. Here's the history:
- pet store is having closing sale, i buy all three spiny mice (adults sisters big momma and stella, big momma had a tiny tiny baby) because i KNOW most people hate to buy adults because they're "not cute enough"
-everythings fine, sales lady gives me food, hay, everything i need, plus i buy a book on them because i didn't trust her (now i know why)
-i read the book, ok cool, i know the history of the critters. i let the three settle into their cage for an hour or two before i formally intoduce myself
-everythings fine, they're curious as always, sweet things, and baby loves walking onto my hand and saying hi.
-2 days later, while baby is in my hand, she starts moving less and less, i keep her in my hand thinking she's cold. my and my man watch a tv show while i keep an eye on her. then poof, she dies in my hand 30 mins later!!!!!!!!!!!!
-so i POUND the net trying to figure out what the heck happened. well....i used my leftover shavings from my mouse, it's a pine/cedar blend, and the net says cedar will kill their respiratory tracts!!!!!
-SO, i take the (dead) baby back to the store (i'm in tears, i'd never mean to hurt anything) and they give me my money back (not that i care) then i rip into the sales girl because NO ONE told me cedar would kill them, no "pine bedding only" NOTHING!!!
-ever since the day that baby died, both momma and stella HATE me

Now, yes i know animals are smart and i know they KNOW i killed their baby, they don't care if i feel bad. it's been a year and a half and i still can't put my hand in the cage, they want to eat meat, or i'm clearly unwelcome. they do not test nibble, every bite is very intentional, every bite breaks my skin and draws blood and HURTS. i give them treats all the time, they'll just bite me if i don't give it to them. i've tried everything. when i clean their aquarium (it's BIG) i don't take them out, they run around and explore and play with the brush i use to sweep up the shavings, they're hilarious, BUT no one can touch them. they bite everyone, anytime. i wear a rubber dish glove...they bite me this morning right through it. i give up. i don't know what else to do! i won't give up on them, i'll keep them until heaven takes them, but NO WAY do i try handling them, they're definitley not interested. does anyone have any advice? i don't want to give them away because they're NOT cuddly pets, they're for watching. and believe me they're fun to watch. GAH! anyone have ideas????? HELP!!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 06:35 PM
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Well first thing I can tell you is both pine AND cedar are toxic. Use aspen if you're worried about bedding cost.

Spiny mice are extremely social animals... both the mother and father care for the babies, as well as aunts, uncles, etc.

What book did you get on spiny care? As far as I knew, there wasn't a book out there except in another language.

Have you tried bonding with them? Spiny mice are insectivores in the wild and require a higher protein diet than regular mice do. Try offering them some mealworms by hand while gently talking to them. All I can say is to continue handling them, get a bonding pouch, etc. They're wild animals, not domestic.

Also, I hope you realize that they cannot eat that many seeds or fruit. They will get fat, and that can lead to diabetes in spiny mice. I offer mine rat lab blocks with cat food, as well as crickets or mealworms.

2 rats, 2 mini rex bunnies, 2 cats, 1 prairie dog, 4 species breeding millipedes, 23 various different species tarantulas, 2 Heteropoda davidbowie huntsman spiders, 3 Liocheles australasiae scorps, 20+ Hogna helluo wolf spiderlings, etc.

spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 07:56 PM
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What I did with my spiny mouse (I know they like having buddies...I'm getting a second one) was sit in a bathtub and let her run around. At first she would avoid me but eventually she became curious and started to climb onto me and play in my hoodie. She's still not into petting or anything but definately enjoys being with me.

Treats help too but they have to be really awesome ones . Mealworms, scrambled eggs, and chicken seem to be big hits.

This a great website for spiny mouse care: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/spiny/care.html




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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 09:16 PM
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BOTH cedar and pine are toxic to small animals.They contain phenols which are not good at all.

I have never had spiny mice (want some in the future),so I cannot offer much advice.But both Stephanie and "Dragontamer" had some good points.





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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Oh thank you so much! I've never been able to find any help. I had no idea pine was bad too! they've been okay so far? i'll change it no question, i'm not concerned about bedding cost. i keep their diet seed and fruit free, but i didn' tknow they needed extra protein, so i'll take care of that asap. i love the bath tub idea. they're far from timid, i talk to them every day all the time, they're in a high traffic area, they see us constantly. they're certainly not shy. they crawl up on things and look and act like they really really care (like dogs). i just get bitten when in their vicinity. when i change their water i can't let my hand linger in the cage or CHOMP. i'll go find out what that pouch thing is and get one. i have yogurt treats (is that okay??) that i give them and they love and look forward to them. i give them one when i clean their cage too. they have fun when i clean their cage, the run around checkign evrything out, they run up the dustpan and up my arm (got forbid i have a tshirt on) then run back in. it's like they really want to figure me out. i guess i'm just confused because they used to be fine, i'm afraid i mentally scarred them when the baby died. but again, i loooove them, i'll keep at it. tomorrow i'm cleaning teh cage because today i spent all day cleaning and putting new stuff in my degu cage. i'll let everyone know how tomorrow goes. i swear every day i try once, oening the cage door, putting my hand in to let them smell me, now i'm just nervous, i feel like a seamstress with no thimble. thank you all so much again!!

"If you can't change your fate, change your attitude." - Amy Tan
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 05:10 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_kkhBQ2Vos

There's a video of two of my spiny mice. Lucy's extremely affectionate while Napalm is a bit skiddish (especially around Lucy).

Lucy's a satin agouti and Napalm's a cream standard, both are egyptian spiny mice.

The video sort of shows how they can be.. one's not used to being handled while the other one's been held since she was born, and now she's 2 years 1 month old.

2 rats, 2 mini rex bunnies, 2 cats, 1 prairie dog, 4 species breeding millipedes, 23 various different species tarantulas, 2 Heteropoda davidbowie huntsman spiders, 3 Liocheles australasiae scorps, 20+ Hogna helluo wolf spiderlings, etc.

spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!

Last edited by DragonTamer; 11-13-2006 at 05:13 PM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonTamer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_kkhBQ2Vos

There's a video of two of my spiny mice. Lucy's extremely affectionate while Napalm is a bit skiddish (especially around Lucy).

Lucy's a satin agouti and Napalm's a cream standard, both are egyptian spiny mice.

The video sort of shows how they can be.. one's not used to being handled while the other one's been held since she was born, and now she's 2 years 1 month old.
Cute video!

Where did you get a satin spiny mouse? I've been wanting one of those badly and am in New York too . I'm considering breeding as a hobby. Most likely I wouldn't sell them or anything .




~Stephanie

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami
Cute video!

Where did you get a satin spiny mouse? I've been wanting one of those badly and am in New York too . I'm considering breeding as a hobby. Most likely I wouldn't sell them or anything .
Something like me with my rats...when I breed a litter,I keep most of my babies!




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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 03:23 AM
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Well, it's really only until I get my USDA license and settle down in a permanent residence (not really in that order). As it's illegal to sell them without a license.

They're great.. but I will say with having 1-2 litters per year, I have about 20-30 spiny mice at any given time, from different families so they DON'T all get along with each other. Currently with the loss of one of my boys I'm down to 19 spinies..

Satin.. well, let's just say I only know three of us with them, although I DO know there's more out there I just haven't seen or spoken to anyone else who does. The original breeder of them is in NY state, but I don't know who or where. I had got my first two by chance at a crap little pet store, 6 or so years ago, without even knowing they were satin until I acquired some creams a few years later from a breeder. It was really all by chance, and this place was selling them for 99 cents each. I went back and offered $30 per spiny, but they were gone by then.

Currently I have three who are satin, with a few carriers, and five who are cream, with a few carriers as well. Have yet to succeed in getting a cream satin, but when you only get 1-3 babies in a litter, it's all by luck.

2 rats, 2 mini rex bunnies, 2 cats, 1 prairie dog, 4 species breeding millipedes, 23 various different species tarantulas, 2 Heteropoda davidbowie huntsman spiders, 3 Liocheles australasiae scorps, 20+ Hogna helluo wolf spiderlings, etc.

spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonTamer
Well, it's really only until I get my USDA license and settle down in a permanent residence (not really in that order). As it's illegal to sell them without a license.

They're great.. but I will say with having 1-2 litters per year, I have about 20-30 spiny mice at any given time, from different families so they DON'T all get along with each other. Currently with the loss of one of my boys I'm down to 19 spinies..

Satin.. well, let's just say I only know three of us with them, although I DO know there's more out there I just haven't seen or spoken to anyone else who does. The original breeder of them is in NY state, but I don't know who or where. I had got my first two by chance at a crap little pet store, 6 or so years ago, without even knowing they were satin until I acquired some creams a few years later from a breeder. It was really all by chance, and this place was selling them for 99 cents each. I went back and offered $30 per spiny, but they were gone by then.

Currently I have three who are satin, with a few carriers, and five who are cream, with a few carriers as well. Have yet to succeed in getting a cream satin, but when you only get 1-3 babies in a litter, it's all by luck.
Too bad...I really want a satin. I haven't even found any creams here but I think I might be able to get our exotics petstore to order some for me.

How do you go about introducing a pair of spiny mice to each other? Let's say you have a male and female who have never met and would like to breed them...do you do split-cage method or something? I'm just curious how you do it . Also, do you feel that having a breeding pair together at all times would be too stressful on the female? Since they don't breed that often I wouldn't think so.




~Stephanie

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 08:44 AM
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yeah I split-tank intro with spiny mice, pretty much all the time. Also introduce them on neutral territory.

The problem with putting the two together and letting them continuously breed, is that you CAN get overwhelmed rather fast. People say that they only breed during certain times of the year but I've found this to NOT be true. I've had them breed at all times of the year. back to back breedings would be rather stressful to the mom, too.. especially considering how LARGE the babies are when they're born! It's not common, but females can prolapse a uterus. Thankfully it's never happened to me but I've known people it has happened to, and the female always dies...


the guy I got my cream line from imported them from the UK, so I'm not sure how common they are here in the US. I'm still in a search for albinos and melanistic individuals (black). I've seen a picture of a black eyed white spiny mouse ONCE in my life, and she was a stunning creature.

2 rats, 2 mini rex bunnies, 2 cats, 1 prairie dog, 4 species breeding millipedes, 23 various different species tarantulas, 2 Heteropoda davidbowie huntsman spiders, 3 Liocheles australasiae scorps, 20+ Hogna helluo wolf spiderlings, etc.

spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonTamer
yeah I split-tank intro with spiny mice, pretty much all the time. Also introduce them on neutral territory.

The problem with putting the two together and letting them continuously breed, is that you CAN get overwhelmed rather fast. People say that they only breed during certain times of the year but I've found this to NOT be true. I've had them breed at all times of the year. back to back breedings would be rather stressful to the mom, too.. especially considering how LARGE the babies are when they're born! It's not common, but females can prolapse a uterus. Thankfully it's never happened to me but I've known people it has happened to, and the female always dies...


the guy I got my cream line from imported them from the UK, so I'm not sure how common they are here in the US. I'm still in a search for albinos and melanistic individuals (black). I've seen a picture of a black eyed white spiny mouse ONCE in my life, and she was a stunning creature.
So do you seperate the breeding pairs most of the time? Because it seems like constantly seperating them and introducing them again would be stressful too.




~Stephanie

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 06:50 PM
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Er... I don't allow a female spiny to have more than 2 litters in her entire life. ever. also after 2 years of age, she's permanently retired whether she had been bred or not (spinies live to be about 4-5 years).

The father will help raise the young, but so will the aunts, sisters, grandmothers, etc. After a breeding, I always put the pregnant spiny in with her original cagemates and let the other girls help her raise the baby(ies). Trying to put a new baby in with the older cagemates and the mom may result in fighting and even death of the baby, but if it's born with the others in the same cage, they treat the baby as family.

2 rats, 2 mini rex bunnies, 2 cats, 1 prairie dog, 4 species breeding millipedes, 23 various different species tarantulas, 2 Heteropoda davidbowie huntsman spiders, 3 Liocheles australasiae scorps, 20+ Hogna helluo wolf spiderlings, etc.

spiders are addictive... and super easy to care for!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-16-2006, 10:04 PM
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Maybe You Could Find Some Spiny "babies" For Them To Adopt, And You Could Offer Them As A Peace Offering, Maybe The Sisters Would Forgive You After All This Time.
Or Maybe Find Them Each A Male And Let Them Have Their Own Families So They Could Have The Baby They Always Wanted. Crap I Don't Know, I'm Just Trying To Help
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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*sigh* ok, sorry it took me so long to get back here, I haven't been feeling great. So, Dragontamer, both my girls are like your Napalm, quick little buggers that bite my fingers when the come up to them. They're both constantly interested, like where your Napalm (referring to your video clip) was skittering around, mine will run around too,but WON'T leave my hands alone, and I'm hesitant sure, i know the chomp is coming, but i always wait, and it always comes, and $&#@ it hurts. Do you think they're just doing it now to make me go away? because if i do anything to notify them of my presence near their cage, they act really really interested, stand with their front paws on the sides of the tank, like they're waiting for me to go in and say hi. It's soooo cute, i'm always lured in, then chomp again. gah. i can tell they're figuring things out, but my fingies won't last!

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