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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My female Big, who has given birth about 10 days ago, seems to have lost a lot of weight and some hair from the back of her neck. I noticed this a few days ago, but I didn't think much of it - I assumed it was due to being exhausted by the babies.

She's still acting otherwise normal and has a healthy appetite and eyes are protruding like normal. She's nursing her babies with no issues. Her breathing seems rather labored and it appears she's using her abdominal muscles to breath instead of up higher, near her actual lungs (almost like COPD?); the breathing is very obvious, especially on the right side - it almost seems to protrude outwards with each breath..

And she keeps sneezing and then I hear little squeaks as she exhales sometimes.

What could this be!? There are absolutely no vets in the area that I can find that will treat mice.. I don't know what to do.. I have guinea pig pellets in my sister's room, which I know contain vitamin C. Should I give some to Big? Please help me, I don't know what to do! :cry:

---Update: I just wanted to let you all know that Big is now doing well. She had a successful litter whom are now all grown, and after quite awhile of being fed extra food containing vitamin A, her squamous metaplasia has miraculously appeared to disappear! She doesn't breathe with excessive effort or even the grunting that she used to. This is a recent finding, and I do not believe the pregnancy had anything to do with it. I am certain that because I fed her so many peanuts, she developed a Vitamin A deficiency and her symptoms supported this.
 

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It sounds like she has a respiratory infection to me. If can afford to, she should see a vet. If you can't, there a few things you could try. I have used Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCL) syrup, and it does seem to ease labored breathing. You can put it in the drinking water. Don't be afraid of overdose, it's pretty safe. I don't know how it will affect the babies. If you can't get a prescription for antibiotics, you can get Ornicycline, which is for birds, at any petstore. It may help. Ultimately, if you wait, it will make no difference, as she will either die or recover on her own. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! For the time being, I cleaned the cage (including disinfecting it) and cleaned the water bottle, toys, food dish, etc. That is very interesting about the Benadryl, but I would definitely be afraid of overdose, since the mice seem to be drinking a lot of water (I discovered that the other female living with my mouse - who also has a litter of the same age - they take turns nursing) has diarrhea, which would explain the thirst. Both are eating happily at the moment, though!

I'm trying to find a vet around here that would be willing to see mice, but so far I've had no luck. In the end, like you said, it may not matter if I wait too long. I know these kind of things can go downhill pretty fast.. what would especially trouble me is that there are 13 babies who have not yet been weaned. :|

As far as I know, most antibiotics are transferred through breastmilk, although I do wonder if the babies will become immune to whatever illness this is. Here's to hoping. Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wanted to give you all an update - I figured out, finally, what was causing this "illness" - it's a vitamin A deficiency caused by feeding her her favorite treat, peanuts, which I never knew mice were NOT supposed to eat! I'll update this post once I can find the sources I read to prove what I'm saying here. She and her best mouse friend, Small, have been moved to a a separate cage where they can relax, exercise, and eat a very vitamin A-filled diet for the time being. Big (that's her name) is still sneezing, but her breaths aren't rattle-sounding anymore. As before, she still acts perfectly normal except that her speed on the wheel has increased tremendously. I believe that the Vit A deficiency caused her squamous metaplasia in her trachea.. and enlarged kidneys.. As I said, I will update this once I find the .pdf article I read online regarding this.

---Update: I found it! Click here, and then click on "Full Article" on the left of the screen. I believe you have to download the article in order to view it. It is positively fascinating! It was on another website that I found out mice are not supposed to eat peanuts, but I can't seem to find that one. :?
 
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