Disease Prevention

Strict quarantine or isolation of all new acquisitions for at least four weeks contributes greatly to the prevention of disease among pet mice and rats. This recommendation is especially important for pet rodents because of the severity of certain diseases that they may harbor without showing signs of illness.


Mice and rats must be purchased from reputable sources. The prospective pet owner must never purchase an obviously or even suspiciously ill rodent. Furthermore, it is never wise to purchase an animal that has been in contact with one appearing ill, even though the intended purchase appears perfectly healthy. These risky purchases never have happy endings and sometimes unnecessarily expose healthy pet rodents to serious and even life-threatening disease.


Rats and mice are especially sensitive to the irritating effects from exposure to ammonia. This chemical builds up quickly in the bedding from the relatively large volume of urine excreted by pet mice and rats. Bedding changes must be made two to three times each week, or more often if necessary. Furthermore, ventilation must be adequate in order to reduce or eliminate the irritating effects of ammonia on the respiratory lining of pet rodents.


Consult your veterinarian for any of these symptoms:

The following situations require immediate attention:

· Reduced activity level

· Extreme lethargy or weakness

· Lethargy, weakness

· Respiratory distress (gasping or panic attacks

· Unexplained aggression

· Severe labored breathing

· Behavior changes

· Enlarged bladder or failure to urinate

· Head tilt

· Sudden paralysis

· Poor appetite for more than a day

· Sudden weight gain or loss

· Decreased water intake

· Loss of coordination

· Excessive drinking

· Pale or blue skin

· Steady weight loss

· Bloating

· Labored breathing

· Heat stroke

· Itching

· Severe injury

· Limping

· Severely damaged or enlarged eye

· Dehydration

· Seizures

· Bleeding

· Puffy skin

· Pronounced discharge from the eyes or nose

· Bloody urine

· Blood from the vagina

· Unexplained diarrhea

· Lack of feces

· Hair loss

· Abnormal lumps

· Injuries besides minor cuts and scrapes

· A cloudy eye