Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

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Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:14 pm

So, I've got the possibility of tumors in BOTH my main Imperial lines, now, and I've got about thirty babies on the way, the excess of which I had planned to sell at RF. What are the ethics of doing this? I hate to think of a child buying her first mouse from me only to have it develop a tumor and die within the year. And how about offering these mice to breeders? Only a small percentage of them will develop tumors, but still. What is ethical to do in this situation?
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:52 pm

What is the small percentage? Why do you think that there is the possibility of tumors? (What has happened)

I once adopted out a mouse, the ONLY mouse in my line to have a weird mammary tumor, and it just so happened to be one I'd adopted out. The adopter was distraught, but realized that these things happen to mice sometimes, regardless of anything anyone can do about it. I am interested in the circumstance that leads you to think these mice will have tumors.

Other than that, honesty is the very first policy to adopt. I tell people about the one problem I've seen with my mice. I am not sure that anyone's mice are perfect.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:57 am

Four mice over three generations, including the foundation buck whose blood is in everyone, and the daughter of the foundation buck and foundation doe, whose blood likewise is in everyone.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Lycrisa on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:36 am

Just curious...

What do you feed them?
Do you use detergents to clean their cages?
Another, stranger one..
Do you happen to live near a military base and/or use well water?
City water?

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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:33 pm

They eat Native Earth 4018 (Harlan blocks) and seed mix with whole oats and flax seed added, with pumpkin seeds and mealworms for treats. I use dishwashing liquid and water and a brush to clean their cages. I live just outside Washington, DC, and have city water.

But Lycrisa, I have three lines of mice. One already had tumors in it from the foundation doe. One is the one I'm writing about now. And one is entirely healthy.

BTW, WOULD ANYBODY HELP ME WITH THE QUESTION I ASKED? What are the ethics of giving these mice or descendants of these mice to other people?
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:37 pm

I was going to answer it, I just wanted some more info. I hope that is ok. Honestly, if this is a problem that further inbreeding would bring out, than personally 8 would not do it. Tumors are tragic things and it would be hard to find an adoptor who wanted to deal with that. I would of course disclose. If a mouse is important genetically, perhaps someone would want to outcross appropriately to save the genes.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:39 pm

Also! What age are these mice getting tumors? Some older mice get tumors, but anything that starts before nine months to a year are bad news.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by madmouse on Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:59 pm

If I know or suspect that any mice have problems, I tell potential adopters about them and explain what that means (some pet owners may not be as knowledgable as breeders). Generally I find that pet owners say they will love them anyway. If you give possible problem mice to breeders, just make sure that they know and understand what could be wrong with the mice and what the chances of that would be and let people make their own decisions. That seems the fairest thing to me.

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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by seafolly on Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:22 pm

Putting myself in the shoes of a hypothetical buyer, I agree that I'd want honesty. I'd want to know that there's a chance of a tumour. But in theory I'd done my homework and know that all mice have the potential to develop tumours. If it develops late in life, you know, I really wouldn't see that as a big deal for pets. Most of my rats had tumours at the end of their lives (I never bred rats, just saying) and I'd sort of expect most rodents to have a risk. All you can do is educate and give a fair heads up.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Love2read on Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:35 pm

With certain lines(such as Reds) tumors are to be expected and we as breeders accept that fact if we decide to work with those lines.

That being said, I agree that you need to be honest with potential customers and fully disclose that you've had multiple mice in the line develop tumors.

Personally, I would try and rehome them as pets so that other breeders don't end up breeding tumors into their lines.

Keep in mind how you feel at this moment and the dilemma that you're currently going through...do you really want to pass those babies on to other breeders and cause them to have to go through the same dilemma later on as well?...
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:50 pm

Well! I certainly got my advice! Thanks, guys! (Sorry, Tiny, if I seemed to yell at you. I didn't mean to.)

The tumors were coming at one year, one year, two months, and six months.

I need to turn this all over in my head. Honestly, I don't want to give these mice to anybody! But then I'M stuck with them! (Actually, Madmouse has agreed to take Ellinor, who she helped raise when her mother had to be euthanized for a tumor when her litter was only a week old.) Anybody want a beautiful, typey buck you can't breed? HA!
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:24 am

You are fine! Wink

Honestly, the six months and the two months are pretty scary. I am so sorry you are dealing with this, how horrible. If it were me, I would stop breeding from this line and retire all as pets or culls depending on how you want to play it. I don't think probably genetic tumors at two months are anything to play around with, but then, I tend to be super extreme when it comes to health. If it's a matter of growing out babies until they are past the 6 month margin with no tumors, then breeding the healthy ones, it could possibly save the line, if they are something you've been working on for a while.

In all honesty? Speaking perfectly frankly? I wouldn't adopt them out until you got to know/understand this issue a bit more. That's only me, remember.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Love2read on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:59 am

Sound advice Tiny. ;

Anne, if you end up culling them I would highly recommend selling/giving them away as frozen feeders. There's been a nationwide shortage of feeder mice for quite some time, so at least the little ones would go to help someone out. Alot of snake breeders are being forced to rehomed their babies because of the shortage and hiked prices. :/

It would also help you recover a little bit of the money you would lose out on from not selling them at RF.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:29 pm

I agree that I should end this line! Dunno what to do with the ones who live with me, now. I can wait and think on it.

I have a standing relationship with a herp owner who buys my frozen culls, but he won't take any mice who died of cancer for the safety of his herps. This is the first I've heard that mice who have died of cancer are OK. And thanks for telling me about the shortage.


Last edited by Mrs. Beach on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by candycorn on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:51 pm

That is bunk. I have fed my reptiles frozen mice and even rats with tumors for years. Cancer is not catching...particularly to another species after freezing! I will buy them all if you need a buyer! I have 7 snakes who would not mind a bit!
On a sad note...I am very sorry for your loss of these lines. Such hard work and love being lost must be very heartbreaking.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by tinyhartmouseries on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:10 pm

I know, I am over here, so devastated for you. I cannot imagine. I've recently thought about what it would be like to end one of my lines and it makes me very upset. I am sorry!
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by seafolly on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:59 pm

I'm only breeding F3 right now and would be very sad if the litter popping out tomorrow (?) were no good aka that would be the end of the line (my only line). I can't imagine how it would be for you after investing way more time and energy!

Also, I'm not a snake owner but...I totally agree that the tumours should have zero effect on the snakes.
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Re: Ethics of rehoming mice who might develop tumors.

Post by Mrs. Beach on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:33 pm

Welll, the disappointment is just about equally offset for me by the relief of not breeding any more mice who will get tumors, firstly for the sake of the mice and secondly for the sake of my breeding project.

The line I am ending is my type line (the Victorian Line: working towards a/a c^ch/c^ch s/s Spl/*), not my brindle tri line (the Super Line: working towards A^vy/* c^ch/c^ch s/s Spl/*). If it were my brindle tri line, yes, I would be upset! Three years of work down the drain!

I had originally thought I needed c^e/c^e for this project and then found out it was too light on A^vy and have been crossing in c^ch for the last year.

The good news is (OMG) that the Super Line already has a small incidence of tumors in it, so I can still cross the final generation of the Victorian Line into it. This final generation has two pairs of double recessive genes I badly need to get doubled in the Super Line, and they were just born this week. So the final development of chinchillated brindle tris won't be delayed. They'll just be prototype chinchillated brindle tris, with the risk of cancer. Once I get them I can stop breeding them because I'll have my blueprint (and also the actual, physical mouse that matches the mental image in my mind to feast my eyes on).

When I first learned of the possibility of tumors in the Super Line, I cordoned it off as a prototype line for developing the right colors, etc. Now that I know which genes to use and how to use them, I have a non-Victorian c^ch/c^ch buck, SLEEPY Choo Choo, and a typey PEW c-p linked Spl/* doe from whom I can start a new chinchillated tri type line--let's call it the Choo Choo Line. I also have two other separate lines of brindles that I can cross the Choo Choo Line into to make chinchillated brindle tris. Fortunately I discovered the tumors in the Victorian Line before I crossed it into these other two brindle tri lines.

I've picked three different brindle lines because different brindle lines have different qualities of brindle orange, ranging from creamy orange to deep, brassy orange (as well as the variable hues within each litter). I'm not sure which will work best with c^ch/c^ch dilution. Also, if anything should go wrong with one of them, as it did with the Super Line, my entire breeding project wouldn't be contaminated. I'll be keeping these three lines separate from the Choo Choo Line.

And, of course, my final hope was, if they turned out well, to cross the best from each brindle tri line, all breeding true, into an ultimate brindle tri line, which would be my Imperial Brindle Tri Line. (But from what I've been reading about line breeding, this may not be a good idea.)

It's hard to keep an optimist (with imperial delusions) down.
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