The Mexican Volcano Mouse
Species: neotomodon alstoni
Mexican volcano mice, as the name suggests, are endemic to meadows and wood openings in high elevation areas of Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. They live in the range of 2600 to 4300 m above the sea level.
The body length of the Mexican volcano mouse is about 10-13 cm and the tail is an additional 8-10 cm. An adult mouse weighs around 40-60 g. It has big eyes and big, almost bare ears. The fluffy tail is brown on the upside and white on the downside. The mouse’s thick and soft coat is gray. Volcano mice remind of deer mice in appearance and lifestyle.
Mexican volcano mice are active at night and at dusk. They make nests in shallow holes in the deep grass.
The mouse can live in a cage or in a tank. You should keep it away from draughts and heaters. Volcano mice are active, so they will need a spacious enclosure. In order for your pet to feel comfortable, it will need an exercise wheel, some shelves and perches.
Put on the bottom wood cuttings, hay or straw. It will enable your mouse to organize a home to its liking. It is best to keep mice in couples, otherwise the mouse will feel bored and lonely. They can also live in family groups, due to developed social organization.
In the wild volcano mice eat mainly plant feed: seeds, grain, nuts, fruit, but sometimes they can eat butterflies and other insects. It was noticed that females are more prone to obesity than males. If a mouse weighs over 65 g, it is considered to be overweight.
In captivity you should feed your mouse with grain mixes, carefully washed vegetables, fruit and grass. You can also give it plant feed: small insects, cooked meat, dairy products. All the food has to be fresh and good quality. Don’t feed your mouse with salty, smoked, fried, spicy or sweet food. Fresh clean water has to be in the mouse’s cage at all times. In order for the mouse to grind its teeth, you will have to give it tree branches, chalk, crackers. It will also need special mineral blocks for rodents and vitamin supplements.
Males tend to fight a lot. Mexican volcano mice are skittish. They hide in places that are hard to access. They are not easily trained animals.
Breast cancer often occurs in rats and mice, both in males and females. Many scientists believe that it appears due to genetic predisposition.
Mice can have various types of ectoparasies: Myobia musculi, Myopcoptes musculinus and Radfordia affinis. Ear mites often occur too. Sometimes mice can get gastritis and enteritis due to improper diet.