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HELP!! I've had 4 rodents die on me in the last 3 months!

Discussion in 'Rodents' started by riva94, Dec 9, 2018.


  1. riva94

    riva94 PetForums Newbie

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    I am aware this is a UK based page and I am in Texas in the States but I am desperately seeking advice or answers for why i've had 2 hamsters and 2 mice die in the last 3 months....here is the long story:

    In september I bought myself a winter russian white hamster from Petsmart and a brand new cage, 26 days after I brought him home he died. After washing the cage and everything in it with soap, drying, disinfecting with vinegar, and drying again I brought another winter white hamster home....again from Petsmart (but a different store location) and again 26 days later he died....
    About a week later I went to a different chain pet store called Petco, I brought home 2 female mice. I did the same cleaning process for the cage as I did the first time. Although I moved the cage from my spare bathroom where I house my almost 3y/o gerbil in a separate cage to my spare bedroom, where I kept the fan off and kept away from the vents. Tonight (december 7, AGAIN 26 days after bringing them home) I found both girls to be cold and stiff and not moving, presumed dead, when my boyfriend went to grab them with his bag protected in one of our dogs poop bags to bury them, he said they both moved, like they were not limp and they kind of grabbed onto his hand. I immediately put a warm water bottle in the cage and scooted the girls as close to the bottle as I could. I also draped the cage with a blanket to help keep the warmth in. I guess my question is are they doomed? Is there anything I can/should do more? If they do pass I am without a doubt tossing the cage and waiting for a lonnnnngggggg time before attempting another rodent. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

    other info: I do not use wood shavings, I use the soft cottony material (not sure the correct name for it)
    I fed both hamsters mainly oxbow essential hamster and gerbil food with a few seeds mixed in, and an occasional dried fruit or veggie.
    Mainly the same diet for the female mice as well.
    None of them have any visible signs of illness (wet tail, sneezing, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hair loss, nothing) and all seemed fine the days before.
     
  2. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Your ill mice should see the vet asap.

    You would be better off homing pets from responsible sources vs places selling for profit. In order to make profit on rodent lives they have to be kept in extremely substandard ways, which is an environment rife for infections and genetic problems to surface. Not every health problem will present with human-obvious symptoms - remember they're all prey species who from an evolutionary need will do their damnest to hide signs of ill health. I would say you've been lucky your gerbil hasn't been affected.

    In addition when you are disinfecting after a sudden unexplained death, you should really be using something stronger than vinegar. Like a specific vet-level disinfectant or bleach. Vinegar is great for general care things, but not for when you don't know the pathogenic risk involved. A week's gap is also not a long enough quarantine time.

    As a side point, hamsters and mice have different nutritional needs. Even different species of hamsters do compared to each other. Therefore to best meet their care needs you should feed each animal species-appropriate food.
     
    #2 Torin., Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    simplysardonic and Tiggers like this.
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