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Hey - I'm new to keeping mice, not breeding at the minute, just keeping as pets.

I've recently had a mouse die, now she was about 20 months, so it may well have just been old age, but I just wondered if anyone has experianced the following symptoms with their mice which might indicate otherwise. She was healthy (as far as I knew), quite active but perhaps a little overweight, not ridiculously so though.

One day she was fine, but the next day she seemed to just instantly become ill. She became very still, breathing appeared a little laboured and she struggled to open her eyes, within a few hours she had died.

Any feedback will be muchly appreciated.
Cheers,
Craig
 

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Could have just been old age; 20 mo. is to a super long life, but 18+mo. is getting on for a mousie. Metabolism is very fast in mousies, so any health problem can take them down right quick. That's not always the case, some really old meeces linger for months before they die. In my experience, it seems that any illness if it's not treated with the first 24 to 36 hours, is going to run it's course and result in recovery or death.

Without an autopsy, you'll never know. There are so many things that can quickly kill. I believe that intestinal obstruction is a common culprit in relatively quick deaths, most of the outward signs never appearing until after death. Those would be bloody discharge from the rear and, in meeces with light colored bellies,you'd see a wide darkening from the resulting internal blowout.
 
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