Basic Information Sheet: Mouse

House Mouse (Mus musculus)

mouse

Natural history



The most common pet mouse is the standard white laboratory mouse, although pet mice are not as inbred as some strains of lab mice.

Taxonomy



Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Suborder: Myomorpha

Family: Cricetidae-gerbils, lemmings, muskrats, New World rats and mice, voles

Breeds



The standard white lab mouse is most commonly seen, but different
colors and varieties are entering the pet trade such as satin or spotted.

Diet



The bulk of the diet should consist of a rodent block or pellet that contains a minimum crude protein content of 16% and 4-5% fat. Seed-based diets promote obesity and should be avoided.

Husbandry



Mice are nocturnal and crepuscular. Females or mixed pairs do well together, but male mice tend to fight.

Provide the largest cage possible made of stainless steel, durable plastic, or wire. Provide ample nesting material and deep bedding such as aspen shavings or recycled paper product. Provide enrichment in the form of tunnels, exercise wheels, nest boxes, and items to chew on old paper towel rolls or toilet paper tubes.


Normal physiologic values


Temperature 98.8°F 37.1°C
Pulse 400-700 bpm
Respiration 90-200 bpm
Body weight Adult male 20-40 g The average mouse weighs about 30 grams.
Adult female 18-35 g Male mice are often twice the size of females.
Mean life span 1-3 years
Sexual maturity 50-60 days varies among strains
Gestation 19-21 days
Birth weight 1.0-1.5 g
Litter size 10-12
Weaning age 18-21 days
Target environmental temperature: 50-68°F or 10-20°C
Target environmental humidity: 45-55%
Water intake: 5-8 ml/day


Anatomy / physiology



Dental formula: Incisor 1/1 Canine 0/0 Premolar 0/0 Molar 3/3
The incisors are open-rooted and continuously growing.
The stomach consists of a non-glandular forestomach and a glandular stomach.

Restraint



Although mice rarely bite normally, they may bite when handled.
Mice are also quick to jump. Manually restrain mice by scruffing the neck.



The lateral tail vein may be used to collect small volumes of blood.

Preventive medicine



Important medical conditions


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References