How do you take care of a mouse after a stroke?

Question by Stephanie: How do you take care of a mouse after a stroke?
My mouse just had a stroke and I know this by his strange leaning and walking. He falls over whenever he is just trying to turn around.
What kinds of measures should I take so that he can live the most comfortable life?

Best answer:

Answer by Adara
Well I’d start by taking him to the vet.

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  1. Reply
    lovemice May 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    It is possible your little one did not have a stroke. The three health conditions most likely to be the cause of loss of balance and/or head tilt are : 1) ear infection; (2) stroke; and (3) pituitary tumor. Ear infections are the most common of the three. If it is the ear infection, the loss of balance and/or head tilt symptoms are indicative that the ear infection is advanced, and needs immediate attention. Typically the exotic vet will put the animal on an aggressive course of antibiotics along with a steroid. Residual head tilt may occur in the animal once the ear infection is finally cleared up. (I had a mouse who had a slight head tilt as a result of having had an ear infection. It did affect her balance a bit, but otherwise she was fine.)

    A stroke has the same symptoms as the ear infection. The vet will likely put the mouse on steroids along with antibiotics. The antibiotics are given merely until the DX is confirmed in case it is an ear infection. A mouse can live for a long time after having a stroke.

    A pituitary tumor has the same symptoms as the ear infection and stroke, but the mouse will also have trouble holding food with his front paws. The vet may give the mouse a series of steroid injections. It will help stabilize the condition for awhile. It usually means, however, the tumor is very advanced by the time symptoms are seen. Keep in mind this is the least likely of the three problems, though

    You are right that there are steps you can take to accommodate the balance issues regardless of the cause. Move the food/water close so he does not have far to travel. Lower the bottle if it proves too high and put his food in a shallower bowl. Keep a close watch on how he handles eating/drinking because if he experiences too much difficulty, you will need to hand feed him. Remove all obstacles he can trip on. If he is in a multi-story cage, put him in a one-story for now so that he does not risk falls.

    TFM is an excellent mouse site where you can find more information on these health issues. The link is as follows:

    They also have an active forum where you can both search the archives for more suggestions and/or ask questions yourself. The link to the forum is below:

    One of the other rodent sites I use discusses the above problems in detail. (It is a rat site, but the Information applies to mice, too.) It is as follows:
    (click “Balance/Head Tilt Problems” once you get to the site)

    Please do not think the worst yet as there is a very good chance the problem is an inner ear infection. This is VERY treatable.

  2. Reply
    Jaffyx May 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I would take your mouse to the vet immediately as it may not be a stroke. This sounds like what happened to my little guinea pig Skipper.
    Until you take it to the vet keep it in its natural environment and let it rest, make sure you give it plenty of bedding, food and water.

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