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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29730
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a pet mouse. than a week he has been making these

Customer Question

I have a pet mouse. For less than a week he has been making these squeaking noises and also like these popping noises, it's how to explain. He sounds like he maybe congested or something. While making these noises his sides will go in and out. One time a few days ago it got bad and he looked like he was trying to vomit something up and he was to breathe. It usually doesn't last that long.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Lucky. Diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tracts are common in pet mice. Animals may be presented with respiratory sounds such as the squeaking and popping you're hearing which suggest accumulations of purulent (pusy) exudate in inflamed and thickened nasal passages, sniffling, sneezing, chattering, and labored breathing (his sides going in and out). These diseases are usually caused by a mixed viral, mycoplasmal, and other bacterial infections.

The two most common causes of clinical respiratory disease in mice are Sendai virus and Mycoplasma pulmonis bacteria. We have no treatment for the virus but a pocket pet vet can alleviate clinical signs (but not eliminate the infection) by prescribing enrofloxacin as an antimicrobial agent in combination with doxycycline as an immunomodulator (modifier of Lucky's immune system). These drugs would be given orally to Lucky - often for a month or more and in some pets indefinitely.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a few more questions:
Do you know how he got this disease?
I also have two other mice (in separate cages), can they get this disease?
Do you think it is necessary to go to a vet?
Is it possible for him to die from this?
Is there anything else I can do for him?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

These infections are considered endemic in mice and rats. In other words, these pets were carriers of the infectious agents which eventually became clinically apparent in times of stress or when age-related immune system weakening arises.

Your other mice are likely to be carriers.

Only a vet can prescribe the antibiotics but I admit that treatment might only be palliative. Cure is very unlikely.

Yes, the infection(s) are often life-threatening. In fact, the most common cause of death in these rodents is this respiratory infection complex.

I might aerosole the antibiotics into a chamber such as the cage surrounded by a plastic wrapping. Other than that, no, I don't know of any alternative therapies of value.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.