Handling Mice and Rats

If you are struggling to handle rats and mice you aren’t alone!

This quote from Ferrets,Rabbits and Rodents, Hillyer and Quesenberry describes your goal well , “when handling a small rodent, avoid stressing or physically harming the small patient while at the same time minimizing the risk of being bitten”.
Good advice!

Handling Mice

RSPCA mouse

Be extra nice!

You have a size advantage over your little mouse friend, but DON’T use excessive force when handling these tiny rodents. Most mice that come into your clinic will be familiar with handling, so if you allow them to approach your hands (cup your hands) you should be able to gently cup your mouse.

If a little extra restraint is required, and permitted, you can either briefly grasp your mouse by the tail base or scruff the whole mouse dorsum (like a cat).

Remember, with mice, be extra nice.

Handling Rats

Scruffing and holding by the tail are generally unwelcome and unnecessary, this can cause stress and you may get bitten. Remember the quote from Hillyer and Quesenberry.

Most pet rats, like mice, are familiar with handling. Give them time, handle your rats gently and give them space if they are stressed.

Your general principles for handling rats are – support the chest and hindlimbs, place two fingers –thumb and index finger or an upside down peace sign – index and middle finger around your rats neck, just behind the mandible.

This should give you the security you need to check your rat!

Hop to it!

References

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