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Walking with head tilted to the side

5179 Views 26 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Lime Green Mouse
I came home tonight to find disaster after disaster in the apartment. The snake had broken out of its cage and eaten TWO, not one but TWO of my mating mice, the rabbit had knocked off his water bottle, one of my sick mice had finally kicked the bucket, blah blah blah. The worst though was when I looked in on my precious little pups.

One of my 4-week old angora pups has started walking overnight with her head tilted to the side. She has trouble figuring out which way to turn to right herself, has trouble drinking out of the water bottle, and sometimes falls to that side. This can't be anything besides a neurological disorder, could it? Could it be an ear infection or something fixable? I'm really worried about this because so far both parents and the rest of the litter had seemed really healthy and strong. This came on very quickly and I'm scared about what it implies for the breeding safety of the rest of the pups and the parents, one of whom has basically fathered all of my feeder mouse litters since none of my other males have felt like mating (except the one the snake ate, darn it!). If it is neurological, does it necessarily mean that I have to stop using the rest of the litter and the buck and doe? Should I continue breeding the parents to see who was responsible, or just cut them both out now before it gets passed on? Can it be bred out by the healthy mice? I was hoping to sell these cuties as pets, but couldn't live with myself if I sold someone a mouse that then developed the same thing.

The buck was pretty old and a red eyed white with long hair, but my best breeder; the doe was a very skittish long haired white mouse with an agouti spot on her bum, but a terrific mother. The only change I've seen in either of them is that somewhere in the past day or two the doe has started keeping one ear folded in toward her head, and the other out and healthy. Could that be related? None of the other pups are displaying any symptoms at all.

Thanks in advance, guys. :cry:
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Lime Green Mouse said:
This can't be anything besides a neurological disorder, could it? Could it be an ear infection or something fixable?
As Cait said, it could be an inner ear infection. It could also be a broken or fractured neck bone. Old fashioned metal wheels are good ("bad?") for this but it could have happened a myriad of other ways. The mouse needs to be seen by a vet immediately or euthanized, either way.

This is unpopular to say, but I will say it anyway: Since your finances are so very limited, and you're potentially starting out with inferior stock, perhaps reconsider breeding mice in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, it is not cheap by any means to properly care for mice, as any trip to the vet or other costly medical ailment will show you!

The only thing that's "cheap" is the mice themselves, so people often get the wrong impression that it must be cheap to care for them. They don't realize that giving adequate care to a $2 mouse can be hundreds of dollars a month, especially if you start out with illness-prone petstore animals! :p

I don't mean to discourage you (believe it or not, lol), but it needs to be said that giving good care to mice can be quite costly.
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After hearing these stories I am so glad I don't have a snake! :shock:
You're very welcome. :)

...but refuse to believe that these are inferior...
You are seeing a mouse who is in poor condition; there's little about "belief" there. A mouse with a potential ear infection, broken neck, or neurological problem is obviously an inferior animal to have as part of your foundation stock. It is an animal who needs immediate treatment or euthanasia. If the kink in the neck is an inheritable condition, all of this mouse's relatives are potential carriers, so Cait is absolutely right when she suggests perhaps getting new mice to breed from. If you are unwilling to wait until you're financially able to do that, then you can likely expect more mice who are in poor condition. Nobody wants that. :(

Our primary responsibility as pet owners is the well-being of our animals--everybody agrees with that. Part of taking care of our animals is affording them proper care, especially when they're sick/injured. At any rate, do keep us updated on the mouse with the tilted head.
Haha! During summer days when I have the doors open, the neighbors' cat comes in. He completely ignores the mice and goes after the birds. I suppose they taste better. :p
Yeah, I think the neighbor's cat would probably be fascinated with the mice were there not also birds in the same room. This is the same cat who routinely brings me dead deer mice (Peromyscus sp), so I know he has a taste for them! :p
Yeah me, too, and I hope so too! *fingers crossed*
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