American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2015 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Old Mouse

Shae Kilpatrick, Australind, Australia, Facebook
Q What is happening to my mouse? She’s 2 years old and lost most her hair. Her skin’s fairly dry and I’ve dabbed a bit of olive oil onto it as a moisturiser. She eats her fruit and veggies and her seed mix and drinks her water. Her eyes are clear but her back is curved when she walks. She always looks like she’s puffed out.

Old mouse Old mouse
Photo from Shae Kilpatrick of her mouse 4 months before.

A I’ve never seen an old mouse lose hair like that. The best way to determine what is wrong is to take her to a vet. A bloated belly could be from an enlarged spleen, tumor inside, uterine cancer, or something else. The hunched back could be from dehydration or old age. The hair loss could be from lack of certain vitamins or minerals or not getting what she needs out of her diet due to age. The dry skin could be from lack of humidity or an underlying disease. Again, a vet would be the best one to try and figure out if she has any problems other than old age since 2 is really old for most mice. Let us know what you find out. Karen Robbins

A Very nice pictures of your old girl. She is very cute despite her age. This is alopecia (hair loss) and can be seen in mice for any number of different reasons. It doesn’t look like she is itching so I don’t suspect mites or lice. Some mouse strains have hair growth cycle arrest. This looks like an endocrine problem. Old mice and mice sick from any reason looks scruffy and hunched. Karen is correct in she likely has an enlarged spleen or other cancer. It would take skin biopsies to determine and I would not recommend anesthesia or biopsies in a mouse of this advanced age. You have obviously done a great job with her care and given her a great life. Carmen J. Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D. *

Back to top

January 1, 2019