Category: rodents

Mice and rats: viral and bacterial infections

Mice and rats suffer from a number of viral and bacterial infections. Here are some of the more commonly seen infections that you should keep an eye out for. What is chronic murine pneumonia (CMP)? This is the most significant and serious bacterial infection in mice and rats. It is caused by the rather unusual... Read more »

Mice and rats: Tyzzer’s disease

Mice and rats can suffer from a number of health problems, but Tyzzer's disease is usually seen in mice, although rats are also susceptible. It is caused by the bacterium Clostridium piliforme (formerly called Bacillus piliformis), which is usually transmitted by eating contaminated food or water. How does Tyzzer's disease affect rodents? The bacteria lives in the intestine... Read more »

Mice and rats: tumours

Both mice and rats are very susceptible to formation of tumours. Rats over 2 years of age are reported to have an 87% chance of developing one or more types of tumours. Mice frequently develop tumours representing a wide variety of tissue types. The tumours may be external or internal. Do mice and rats get... Read more »

Mice and rats: routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your rodent happy in order to maintain its health. If you know your pet you will probably quickly recognise the signs that suggest it is not well. What are the... Read more »

Mice and rats: parasitic diseases

Rodents are susceptible to skin disease which can be caused by numerous infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Cage mates may be responsible for hair loss and/or wounds to the skin. Do rodents suffer from external parasites? Pet mice and rats may be infested with a variety of external parasites. Mites, nearly microscopic,... Read more »

Mice and rats: miscellaneous health problems

Two medical conditions of mice and rats demanding special mention are their susceptibility to tumours and Tyzzer's disease. These are covered in separate factsheets. However, there are other medical conditions affecting mice and rats that are briefly covered here. Only purchase rodents from reputable sources, and never purchase an obviously or even suspiciously ill rodent.... Read more »

Mice and rats: how to handle

Domestic mice and rats generally tolerate gentle handling, though both may bite if startled or handled roughly. Mice are more likely to bite than rats under these circumstances. In fact, mice housed alone are more likely to be aggressive with a handler than those housed in groups. How should I handle my mice? It is... Read more »

Mice and rats: housing

Proper housing is a major factor in the maintenance of healthy mice and rats. The psychosocial well-being of the animals must be a primary consideration. Mice and rats can be housed within enclosures made of wire, stainless steel, durable plastic or glass. What sort of housing should I provide my pets? Stainless steel, durable plastic... Read more »

Mice and rats: feeding a healthy diet

The mice we keep as pets are the same species as the house mouse. They live alongside human beings nearly all over the world, eating what they can find. Rats are designed to eat plants, e.g. seeds, roots, nuts and fruit. The cheek teeth of the rat are more like our own than the teeth... Read more »

Mice and rats: a history

Domestically raised mice and rats are popular pets these days; they are readily available, relatively inexpensive and easy to care for, and usually enjoy human handling. All about mice and rats These animals have been used extensively in research laboratories for many years. Consequently, their medical problems (many of which are inherited disorders resulting from... Read more »