Evelyn and Her Battle with Cancer


We adopted Evelyn with 4 friends - Enid, Ethel, Mavis, and Doris. We hadn't owned house mice in a long time, and we could see how much their care, medicine, and husbandry had changed over the last 20 years. So, we thought we'd adopt some house mice to live at our home facilities so we could get some up to date experience with them.

The Mischief:

Back when we had house mice in the late '90s, to our knowledge, it was more or less unheard of to perform an orchiectomy on male mice. 
We decided to neuter one of the male house mice to join the mischief of females. So, Evelyn and her mischief later made friends with Barry. The other male mouse went on to live with multimammates (we will do a post about him one day).
Around about this time, a lone female house mice who'd been living with hamsters (don't recommend doing that) arrived at Hamster Haven. Vicky and I agreed to bond the lone mouse - then called Evie - to our mischief as well.
In fact, as Notts Nibblers were closing, the mischief then met Stanley, a lone male Multimammate.
The group expanded yet again when they met Timothy Q. Mouse who was a lone castrated mouse from Tiny Paws MCR.
Needless to say, our everchanging mischief was a huge delight and have really taught us a great deal.

Medical History:

Evelyn was no stranger to health issues and surgery. The first issue she developed was a stubborn abscess. In fact, the sac was actually attached to her carotid artery. 
The surgery was traumatic, but Evelyn soon bounced back. The vet was unable to remove the sac during her first surgery to decrease the chance of reoccurrence.
Thankfully, during the second surgery, the vet was able to remove the sac so the abscess wouldn't return.
Just as before, Evelyn handled the surgery within her stride. For some time after, Evelyn was in good health apart from one minor URI that cleared up with some oral antibiotics.

Cancer Diagnosis:

During later life, Evelyn developed a mass. We originally didn't intend to remove the mass given Evelyn's old age. We suspected the mass would be slow-growing - as it was in the early stages.
 That turned out not to be the case; the neoplasm started to grow rapidly and would've soon had an impact on Evelyn's quality of life. The vet assessed the tumour and believed it could be removed. Given that Evelyn still seemed otherwise in good health, we decided to go ahead with a lumpectomy. 
During the surgery, the vet was able to identify a second tumour around Evelyn's vulva. The vet would've removed this during surgery, however, as the first tumour was so vascular leading to more blood loss, the vet didn't want to risk putting Evelyn through something that could potentially be unsafe. 
The first tumour, as with most tumours in mice, appeared highly malignant and a second tumour could've been evidence of metastasis.

Unfortunately, the healing process for this surgery was less than smooth. Evelyn's wound started to break down; the wound broke down as a result of increased mobility in the affected area, and cancer. 
That wasn't the only concerning thing, Evelyn's second tumour was also growing rapidly. Without the primary tumour taking up additional blood supply and nutrients, angiogenesis set in and the second tumour was able to grow without any negative influence.
Sadly, it was no longer within Evelyn's best interest to continue treatment.
Evelyn passed away on the 4th of July 2020.