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Question: Several mice from different breed lines have developed a wasting figure, and have been culled by me. Does anyone know what causes this severe weight loss? Diabetes? No blood just weight loss very quickly, only seems to affect adults that are about 6 months old.

thank you

Nigel
 

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Intestinal problems of some sort, probably. It can happen with internal parasites; meeces can get roundworms, or microbiota from eating insects and worms. Icky, but at least it's something relatively easy to prevent. I suspect you wouldn't have those sort of things, being an established breeder.
 

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I have only ever seen this once in a young fawn doe and it was very quick in loosing weight, was fine one day then skinny the next, all the rest are were fine, so I put it down to being a weak mouse out of the litter.
 

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I''ve seen this sort of thing in very young satins, but that was a congenital thing common in some of the satin lines in the US. Apparently US satins come from a different source, and are prone to anemia, inability to digest food, lowered fertility and a few other things. It took me years to pretty much breed out all the bad recessives. Those mousies usually died while very young, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi, the wasting disease has happened to odd does three ivory satins, two dove tans and one self black and a cream buck, he has been the only survivor, i mixed up a crushed diarrhea tablet into some boiled rice and it too a few days but he is fine now.
the rest all were culled when too weak to crawl. please note none of the mice had diarrhea and the mice in question were all with other mice that have been unaffected.
 

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Glad to find this post - was looking for something as I have the same problem. One doe has been in with others they are fine but she has lost weight in a matter of days - dont think she'll survive long.

Could it be stress or something like that?
 

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That could very well be the case; meeces are very prone to stress from too much noise and activity, loud noises, being trasferred from one place to another, territorial issues with other meeces...as much as mousies are recommended as good first pets, I'm afraid that the sensitivity of the mousies to non-disease sources has been downplayed. Some meece are better than others; blue mice are especially prone to stroke from bright light, loud noise, and can go into seizure when over stimulated.

Id be real careful with any OTC remedy for diarrhea made for humans...blueberries and carrots are good for restoring intestinal consistency. Id'd be afraid of the mousie getting obstructed intestinally with an OTC product for people. Then again, it may be just the thing...I haven't had a mouse with that problem in so long...and that's a good thing.
 

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I have a friend who went to veterinary school and another who is a vet tech and a mouse breeder and have consulted both of them on this issue, as I had similar symptoms. Together we have concluded that this "wasting illness" is possibly either Sendai Virus or a form of Murine Hepatitis Virus (MHV), both of which can be introduced from any number of wild rodents who share the same airspace, even briefly.

Both are diseases which have two forms: active (mostly juveniles) and inactive (adults), and both are transmitted primarily to and from young animals (under 6 weeks), although they do sometimes affect older animals as well. Both diseases may present with or without diarrhea, but the rapid "wasting" and dehydration is a characteristic feature.

There is no direct curative agent, but supportive treatment includes Baytril (enrofloxacin) in everybody's water for three or four weeks, with a period of at least 3 weeks (four or more is preferable) with absolutely no breedings and no new litters and no new mice brought into the same air space. This "down time" allows time for the virus to naturally disappear from the colony of adult animals without being passed on unknowingly to younger animals who will start the cycle over again.

As long as there are any new breedings, the viruses mentioned will continue to spread back and forth among mice, and it will pop up again by re-infecting some of the young animals, killing some animals and leaving others seemingly unscathed, as everybody here (including me) has seen!

If you do not have baytril on hand, the mice may still recover but you may lose more individuals to secondary bacterial or viral infections; the most important aspect to getting rid of the viruses is to cease breeding for at least three weeks with no new mice brought into the airspace, period. This is the only way to be certain that you are not perpetuating the virus in your colony, as it can be present in adults with no symptoms whatsoever and yet kill younger mice as they are weaned or shortly thereafter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi,

The mice that i have lost due to this wasting disease have all been adukts, no youngsters, it just seams to happen to adult does either during the raising of youngsters or just after weaning off of the youngsters at 8 weeks or so.
the mice do not appear to have diarrhea, they just rapidly turn into skeleton form.
 

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I wonder if there's something like Bordelia; not sure of the spelling, but it's a disease that affects or is spread through the breeding of dogs. and maybe cats?
 

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Rollesby Stud said:
Hi,

The mice that i have lost due to this wasting disease have all been adukts, no youngsters, it just seams to happen to adult does either during the raising of youngsters or just after weaning off of the youngsters at 8 weeks or so.
the mice do not appear to have diarrhea, they just rapidly turn into skeleton form.
I had two does, one that was supposedly from healthy lines that did exactly that. My exotic vet checked for internal tumor or abnormailies in her abdomen, nothing was noted. Other causes may have been stress.

But I didn't consider a virus, I don't think we have Sendai here in Australia?? We have myco, and it's a BIG problem in our rats.
It would certainly explain why two mice from unrelated lines suffered the same symptoms. An unknown virus!

They were eventually PTS (culled) after a high fat/protien diet + medication did not work. I was only prolonging their suffering continuing the treatment. I can't imagine living like that would be comfortable, their fur was in a shocking state!

It's still a mystery to me? But I'm highly suspicious that a virus is the culprit!!!
 

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Sendai unfortunately exists anywhere that has a wild population of mice (Mus sp) or a few other rodents, including Australia.

Since it is a self-perpetuating virus as long as there are young animals present and animals in the wild breed year round, it is always present. That's why the only cure for it in captivity is to cease all breeding and all new litters for at least three weeks, so it can run its course.
 

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Well this girly has astounded us all and recovered! Her fur is no longer raggy and scruffy, her weight is back to normal, she is eating well and looks to be doing fine!

All we did was leave her quiet without too much handling, and I fed her on brown bread or bagel soaked in milk and other high calorie stuff, sunflower seed in bird mix and the odd bit of suet, mixed with basic mousy food. I would say seh turned around after the bagel and milk, thats when she first showed improvemene - chuffed anyhow!
 

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I lost quite a few, mostly pregnant does unfortunately. I have had two does which have recovered and are now doing well (one of which was pregnant and has now had a healthy litter), may have had more survive but I tended to cull as soon as they started losing condition. It all seems to have stopped here too.

A virus seems to be the most obvious cause, and if it was all signs point to my mice picking it up at the Peterborough show, one of the does I showed there was the first to show signs. Its part of the risk of showing or bringing in new stock, even though I had a quarantine period (albeit in the same shed) it must have been airbourne!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well done, i had not thought about the shows, I did not have this problem before i started showing.
I know i got an attack of mites after one of the shows, all dealt with.

I will quarantine from now on after shows

nigel
 

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I would have thought anything viral would have incubated within 3 weeks although I'm not 100% sure.I treat my animals for parasites routinely.I've done all the mice and rats today.Tomorrow its the turn of the dogs and ferrets.
 
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