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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11069
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Weve had her for 3 months, and she is young. Usually very

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We've had her for 3 months, and she is young. Usually very spry.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
It appears that the history you provided was truncated. There is no mention of what's going on, only "We've had her for 3 months, and she is young. Usually very spry." Would you elaborate, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ah, I think it got rid of my original input.


* Matted Fur (this was the first indicator something was up)
* Lethargy
* Slow movement
* Shaking
* No visible bowel movement for a few days
* VERY limited eating/drinking
* Black specs on eyes (could be eye goo due to grooming neglect)

We use non-allergenic paper bedding, feed her tropical carnival mix with salted pumpkin seeds for a treat daily.
Thank you, Ryan. She's not taking care of herself (matted fur) because she hasn't felt well as evidenced by her lethargy, shaking (indicates pain/discomfort), anorexia, and ocular discharge. If she hasn't eaten there won't be anything coming out the other end.

These are symptoms of illness but don't localize the disorder for us. Can you tell me a bit about her history? Where is she from? Was she tested for the FeLV (leukemia) and FIV (kitty AIDS) viruses as a kitten? Is she up to date on her vaccines?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is a PetSmart purchase/rescue (poor things D:) and we have no medical records to speak of, nor have we taken her to the vet at any point (yet!)
First of all, please clarify that we're talking about a cat. Your question was posted in the cat veterinary category but you posted "fancy mouse" as the type of animal.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
This is a Fancy Mouse--I suppose it sorted me into the wrong category.
My apologies for the site. Please bear with us. I'm going to recategorize your question into the proper category. You needn't do anything. An expert who is experienced in fancy mice will be with you shortly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Please disregard the info request.
Hello Ryan,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Because your question received a response, it was not showing in the open list once it was moved to the proper category. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with over 30 years experience raising and keeping small mammals. I'm sorry to hear your mouse is ill. If you still need help, some additional information will be useful.

What kind of litter/bedding do you use?

What was she eating just before this started?

Have you noticed her scratching a lot or biting at herself?

Is she the only mouse in her cage?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Anna, thank you for returning my message. I understand that the website system is a little bit finicky and have no issue with waiting a little while since my mouse seems to be improving.

To answer your question we use paper bedding, the fluffy kind.

She was eating the tropical carnival mix that is available at pet stores. She seems to have stopped eating that.

She has not been scratching herself at all and has no visible irritation or Allergic reaction.

She is the only mouse we own in her cage.

I should tell you that since I had last spoken with the website, we have seen a wildlife rehabilitator also sees small mammals. We listened to her breathing and heart beat and determined that there's nothing going on in the lungs, ruling out lung cancer. She suggested that because of her consistent diet and the contents therein, that she may be experiencing calcium deficiency. We have replaced her food with dog food, spinach leaves, broccoli and cauliflower, per the lady's advice.

Do you think these observations check out? We're hoping that her altered diet and increased care will improve her symptoms. The breathing is no longer seeming to be labored, and she seems to be grooming herself once again, but she is still acting very lethargic and rarely eats.
Thank you for getting back to me. At t he time you posted, I had logged off for the night. It makes me happy to hear that your mouse is improving. I'm also glad to hear you ruled out lung involvement, since I was concerned about a respiratory infection.

I do have some concerns about the diet the rehabber recommended.Her experience is with wild mammals which are with her for only a short period of time, then released. All those leafy greens do contain calcium, but it's in the form of calcium oxalate. That form is not very usable by the body. Over time, the oxalate can bind up the calcium and it can also lead to bladder and kidney stones in small mammals. For that reason, we don't feed those greens to mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. Dog food is probably a fine diet to feed a wild mouse while in rehab for a few weeks, but it isn't a complete diet for a pet we want to have with us for a couple of years. Most of the pet foods sold in pets stores are not good either. The most complete diet is one of the rodent blocks or pellets formulated for lab rats and mice. Here is an online source of one:

Purina Rat and Mouse Chow is another good one. You would have to order this from a local Purina dealer. You can find them by looking up 'Feed' in the Yellow Pages for your area. For treats, you can sue tiny pieces of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You can read more about mouse care here:

This reputable site is like an encyclopedia of rat and mouse health:

If it turns out you do need a vet, you'll want to be sure to find one with small rodent experience. The following links will take you to directories of vets who treat small rodents. At the first site, you'll come to a log-in page. Sign in as 'member' and use 'member' as your password XXXXX well.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your mouse will quickly reach a full recovery.


Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11069
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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