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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I have recently adopted 3 mice to add to my current 3. I regarded all quarantine/introduction procedures, blah-de-blah, but still am having a couple issues that I could use some help with...

Here are my mice, by name and variety.

Current:
Pumpkin Head - P.E.W. (albino)
Angel Face - Agouti
Sweetie Pie - Black

New:
Perignon - Satin Champagne
Rot Mama - Show Type Black Tan
Dairy Queen - Broken Black Tan (cow-colored)

1. Ever since we adopted the current mice 3 months ago, Angel Face has made odd sounds; snuffling, puffing. We took her to the vet within the week, and ended up getting her some Baytril. To this day, she still makes the same sounds. She only makes these noises when she is handled against her will (in which case she would also develop short-term diharrea), or when she is obsessively hoarding her toys. I am convinced they were stress noises. Had she been sick, she would have been dead a long time ago... The current problem is that ever since the new cage-mates moved in, Sweetie Pie has started making these sounds also. I gave her Baytril for about 6 days roughly, the noises still have not stopped. They subside when she is sleeping, in solitary confinement, or, sometimes, when we hold her. She had a couple of scuffles with Dairy Queen, and seemed shaken by them. Sweetie Pie, and Angel Face, for that matter, show no other signs of respritory infection (no lethargy, no gooey eyes, nothing). The other mice are not making these noises either. I am inclined to think these are stress noises, the same kind that Angel Face makes. But I could be wrong. Does she have an allergy perhaps? From what I've been told, it's going to be a rough Springtime for those with allergies! Perhaps the new mice brought some sort of allergen in with them? All the new mice are pretty much starting smell like my current ones now, so I'm not sure... Speaking of Springtime, it's that "time of the season"; is she maybe sexually frustrated? Is it just stress from her new cage-mates? She is an older mouse... is it maybe just "her time"?

2. Dairy Queen is not getting along well with any of the other mice, even the ones that were her original cage-mates. She was only slightly bullied by Pumpkin Head and Angel Face over trivial things, such as the wheel and napping spots, but these tiffs were no more than some "noseing", chasing, and squeaking (there has never been any blood). I beleive this made Dairy Queen defensive and anti-social. She started bullying and instigating fights with the mice. As I said, she had a couple unprovoked tumbles with poor old Sweetie Pie. We ended up getting Dairy Queen her own cage. She seems happier living by herself, but I can't conclude that based on observation alone. During the day (when hyper-activity is at a low for mice) I let Rot Mama have monitered visits with Dairy Queen. Rot Mama is much larger in size and is older, she doesn't take any bullying from Dairy Queen. In fact, I saw Rot Mama mounting Dairy Queen once. That was funny. A sight to behold. It seems to have had no ill effects; it was a good happenstance if anything. Perhaps it taught her a lesson?

By the way, Rot Mama is certainly female. All 12 of her nipples are clearly visable, and her genitalia has female characteristics. Were she male, all the other mice would have been dead by now due to territorial fights. Most bucks live alone for that very reason. Females will sometimes hump other mice for dominance, just as males do.

Back to the issue at hand, I do not want Dairy Queen to feel afraid or angry. And I certainy don't want her to be humped by Rot Mama against her will for the rest of her life. I would like her to get along with all 5 of her cage-mates. I have a couple ideas in mind. I am considering placing her into the main cage, now that it is covered in other scents. Maybe if she realizes she is the outsider, she will not provoke the mice. At the same time, I can see how this could be dangerous, so I may not end up doing it... I plan to try and re-introduce them, in neutral territory and vanilla on their bums, each time I clean the cages. Some mice just prefer (or need) to live alone. But I don't want to give up on little Dairy Queen. She is a sweet mouse, and loves her human. There's always goodness in a mouse. Is there anything else I could try doing to socialize her?

Thank you in advance, everyone.
-Allie
 

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I have no advice on the sickness other than what you've already done, though someone else here might know more.

For the behavior problems...

Is there blood involved with these fights Dairy Queen is instigating? I'd say as long as there's no blood involved, try re-intros and let them stay together and work it out amongst themselves. Just watch them closely and be ready to separate the aggressive one if others start getting chunks nipped out of them.

Mice have to work out their pecking order. It sounds like Dairy Queen wants to be dominant but the others weren't respecting her yet. Humping is part of that. It's a dominance display among females.


I'd say sticking Dairy Queen into the other mice's territory without her own scent is inviting trouble at this point. They were already working out some issues, and now she'd be considered an intruder invading their territory.

With intros, the important thing is that everyone smells like each other. Before they meet face to face, I'd mix bedding so that their urine is thoroughly blended, and rub everyone in each other's bedding. Go slow and give them time to get used to each other's smells. Expect some spectacular scuffles at first. But, as I said, as long as there's no blood involved, it's got a good chance of working itself out. Just watch them carefully.

As for vanilla? My thoughts? I've been told, and I've actually found it to be true at least with my own intros, that vanilla can be more provoking than not. Not because it doesn't mask scents, but because it's a strange 'yummy' scent that everyone just /has/ to investigate. If you have a nervous rodent, and everyone just can't leave his/her bum alone, it gets them more agitated.

If there is blood involved, then you might want to experiment with keeping Dairy Queen with just one of the other girls. You know, take your time and see if she'll become friends with just one. That way she won't be alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you very much for you input, Story-Seeker. I feel like I might actually enjoy a forum for a change :D
There has been no blood thus far, but when I see them nipping, I get scared that they may bite too deep, and so I split up the fight prematurely. I'm afraid that there may be serious injuries. What if one of them dies? How can I tell the difference between scuffling nips and angry biting? Does the squeaking sound different? Do they move their heads a different way whilst biting? As you may have realized by now, I care very deeply for my mice. I'd be so broken-hearted if one of them were bitten that hard. I'm just too soft; I'm afraid to take that risk :(. Especially with Sweetie Pie, just because she is so old and is used to living in peace. Sometimes I feel so selfish and guilty that I put her in this situation, where she is forced to defend herself. She deserves so much better.
As for Dairy Queen having a room-mate... she is in a smaller cage, as I had expected this to be a temporary thing. I couldn't force big ole' Rot Mama to live in such a small thing. The only other mouse who could live in there with her and it still be spacious is little Perignon. She's so very tiny - she is able to slip through the lock on the main cage, but is so sweet-natured that she chooses not to stress me by doing so. She just kindly stays where her resources are. Dairy Queen is so cruel to little Perignon. Perignon get's so scared that she stays in a ball in the corner. I just can't do that to her; it just wouldn't work between them.
I will do what you said about mixing the bedding and rolling them around in it to re-socialize them. That's a wonderful idea, and different, as I normally introduce in fresh bedding. You could be right about the vanilla, I had never thought that it could make a mouse nervous.
Thank you again for your help :) I will try what you said and try not to let my motherly instincts get in the way of them working things out.

Anymore suggestions? Anybody? I still need help...!
 

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You know, one of my mice, Waltz, does the same sneezing thing. Tango has not sneezed once. But Waltz will make little sneezes as she walks and then sometimes have minor fits of it. But never when she is sleeping or being held. She seems healthy otherwise. And Tango has never had problems and she has been with her their whole lives.
I also have no idea what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I'm not the only one experiencing this! Isn't it just the strangest thing? I wonder what it could be. :confused:

I am going to use the last of the Baytril on her just to be safe, but hopefully it's nothing serious. Another one of my mice, Pumpkin Head, will sometimes "tweet", like a little bird, at nighttime! As you said, these mice seem perfectly healthy otherwise. I really hope I just have some "talkers".
 

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Sometimes it does sound more like talking. Maybe they just have stuffed up noses?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You think they just suddenly started having stuffy noses? hmmmm..... [I think] that's kinda odd for a mouse, you know, to just suddenly have it, with no particular reason... I don't see any readings online or in books about anything like that. Maybe mice too are effected by allergy season?? Maybe my new mice brought home some sort of allergin? They were from the country, I think (both the breeder and the mice smelled like a farm... and not in a good way :/ I see no excuse for mouse to smell like a llama...) But it's been awhile since then and they all now smell like their own natural pee-pee musk.

Heehee.... "pee-pee musk"....

I can only speculate. Hopefully more experts can find this thread and possibly give us some insight...!

I don't want my Sweetie Pie to have a stuffy nosie... :< poor little mus!
 

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As far as the snuffles: what type of bedding do you use? Some animals have bad reactions to certain types of bedding for whatever reason. Pine and cedar bedding is a definite no, and I actually suggest staying away from wood of any kind if you have mice with sensitive respiratory systems.

A tip for socializing mice (and rats) that I find helpful is similar to what Storyseeker suggested, but I actually have them swit h cages every night. I find that this helps a mouse or rat like Dairy Queen realize that she has a safe home, but it's not just her home it belongs to other mice too. This will also allow all of them to use each other's toys and bowls without actually being together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I use Carefresh, actually. I used to buy the yellow Carefresh all the time to match the cage, but the natural Carefresh is cheaper and seems to have less dust and seems a bit stiffer, so I think it lasts longer. So I've switched to natural...

Switching cages is a wonderful idea. I want to do it, beleive me, but Dairy Queens cage is half the size of the main cage. I could never force 4-5 mice to inhabit Dairy Queen's cage, especially at night when they are hyper-activet. The cage is smaller because I had only expected it to be a temporary thing, so I didn't bother buying a monster cage...:/

I have since moved Rot Mama (the big black tan) in with Dairy Queen so she would not be lonely. Rot Mama is the only mouse who will not take crap from Dairy Queen, simply because she is much bigger than Diary Queen is. I added some accessories to give the cage extra floor space, and it seems to have releived some of the stress in there; there's no more wheel obsession or gnawing onthe bars at night. They get along really well :) I will try to get more mice to like her, and maybe eventually I can connect the two cages. (They are Crittertrails. I'm obsessed with Crittertrail products *^^*)
 

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Storyseeker has some really good advice for you--she's an expert now with intros, too, so I'd definitely try the steps she's outlined for you! :D

As far as the sneezing/sniffling, one thing that came to my mind is a respiratory reaction due to mites. If your mice have mites, the symptoms often present like a respiratory infection, but Baytril will not cure it because it doesn't kill the mites. To tell if your mice have mites, you might notice them scratching a bit more than normal, sneezing a bit more than normal, and they might also have pinpoint-sized red dots on their skin (particularly near the head/shoulders/neck area). If they do, indeed, have mites, you can treat them with one dose of Revolution (at the vet clinic) and they should be cleared up in no time. (And, if that is the problem, their sneezing will most likely subside, too.) This is just a hunch, but it is worth checking them for symptoms, anyway!

It sounds like you're doing a great job with them so far! :D
 

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Oh, and one more thing to add: just as general practice, in order to avoid mites I always freeze bedding for several days prior to using it in their cage. It is not uncommon for Carefresh and other types of bedding and litter to have mites, and freezing will kill them.
 

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Aw. Thanks Breyer. :)

I've actually had experience with both mouse and rat intros. My mouse intros were a nightmare because I knew nothing at first but they got better as I adjusted my thinking to 'mousethink'.

My rat intros of course have been described in detail here...all 20 plus days of it. :p http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/f16/ggmr-naked-58068.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks :) I'll check out your intro log once I get a chance. I not feel too good todayz :<

I'll do the freezing thing you suggeted.

When I adopted Pumpkin Head a few months back, she actually brought some "friends" home with her. Then my other two mice got those "friends" as well.

I'm not sure what they were... They were little reddish-brown bugs moving in and out of her fur. My boyfriend, who is a biologist/neurologist (lucky me ;)) Took a closer look and he said it was lice. The bugs didn't seem to be hurting them, just itching them. I found no scabs or anything of the sort.

I haven't seen them itching or or bleeding lately, but you may be right, it could be some sort of bug. Last time we had bugs, I used bird mite/lice spray on my mice, and it took care of the problem in a heartbeat. Alot of people are like, "NO, that's a chemical! It's evil! It will kill the mice!"

I don't understand it... When people hear the word "chemical" they automatically think "poison" as well. Everything is made of chemicals! Our whole bodies are made of chemicals, for christsake! Meh, I'll save you guys "the rant":rolleyes:.

The spray has Pyrethrins in it. It is a plant-based pesticide (it actually comes from a flower that looks very much like a daisy) and is actually safer than that Ivermectin crap (no offense to anyone who uses it). I use the bird spray because it actually have a lower Pyrethin level than the rodent/small pet spray (0.03% as opposed to 0.06). So don't let any of those anti-chemical folks keep you from using it. It's safe, it works, and it will save you TONS of money. The spray was under $10.

I'll give them a little spray down. Ooooooh, they're gonna hate me for this :rolleyes:
 

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Breyer08 has a good point about the mites! I forgot that mites also cause snuffles. If the lice/mites treatment doesn't work try switching bedding. I had two ratters at seperate times who had respiratory symptoms while I used carefresh (I also used natural for the same reasons as you). Which sucked for me because that was all I had used up until I got them. Eventually I used yesterday's news and it worked well for them.
 

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I don't understand it... When people hear the word "chemical" they automatically think "poison" as well. Everything is made of chemicals! Our whole bodies are made of chemicals, for christsake! Meh, I'll save you guys "the rant":rolleyes:.
It's all in the dosage. I had to laugh. I'm reminded of the other extreme of that in advertising: "Product contains all natural ingredients!"

I always mentally go: "Arsenic, nightshade, deathcap mushroom, strychnine..." :D
 

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Its all normal rodent behavior

I have never kept mice, but I have 8 rats of varying age and sociability. I have one that sneezes snuffled ALL the time when i first introduced her to the house, and the 2 rats that were in the cage before her. This kept up for a few months. Now she only does it when something new is introduced (a toy, a treat, baby rats that don't share her cage) She also does it when she is excited by something.

As for the humping, all 8 of my rats are female, and they do it to eachother, my feet, my kids feet, etc.... when they are in heat (about every 2 weeks for a few days) All my rat owning friends say this is normal. After having this many for so long I tend to agree.

As for fighting over toys, hoarding, acting nervous with new cage-mates I have found it to be normal rodent behavior. They are incredibly social animals. They develop cliques and hierarchies just like high school kids. Some are bullies, some are bullied, some are mellow....etc

I wouldn't worry to much, just enjoy them. I have NEVER seen my girls inflict blood damage on each other...they do play fight allot though, especially young females. Hope this helps. You can always go to my sons facebook at Brennan Rhodes if you have any questions. He started our rat pack and is very knowledgeable. :)
 

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I have never kept mice, but I have 8 rats of varying age and sociability. I have one that sneezes snuffled ALL the time when i first introduced her to the house, and the 2 rats that were in the cage before her. This kept up for a few months. Now she only does it when something new is introduced (a toy, a treat, baby rats that don't share her cage) She also does it when she is excited by something.

As for the humping, all 8 of my rats are female, and they do it to eachother, my feet, my kids feet, etc.... when they are in heat (about every 2 weeks for a few days) All my rat owning friends say this is normal. After having this many for so long I tend to agree.

As for fighting over toys, hoarding, acting nervous with new cage-mates I have found it to be normal rodent behavior. They are incredibly social animals. They develop cliques and hierarchies just like high school kids. Some are bullies, some are bullied, some are mellow....etc

I wouldn't worry to much, just enjoy them. I have NEVER seen my girls inflict blood damage on each other...they do play fight allot though, especially young females. Hope this helps. You can always go to my sons facebook at Brennan Rhodes if you have any questions. He started our rat pack and is very knowledgeable. :)
 
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