Shrew??

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AmyB
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Shrew??

Postby AmyB » Thu May 05, 2005 7:51 am

Okay, so I'm playing hooky today from school so that I can get ahead on a few things, and so Becker and Mac are in heaven, of course!

Well, not too long ago, Mac was out in the back by himself, seeming very intense along the fenceline. Becker saw something exciting that I could not, I figured he just wanted to play with Mac. He bolted out and pointed something under the fence. I went out there too, to see what it was. I heard some squeaking, and it just seemed like they were chasing a field mouse that was running back and forth on the other side of the fence (the yard behind us has tall grass, and I guess things live in there).

Well, I figured there was no harm in letting them play (I figured the mouse would know to stay on the other side of the fence), so they dash back and forth in pursuit of this unseen little thing for a while, Mac seems to scratch at something, and they both seem confused. Mac gingerly bends down to pick up something in his mouth, and I realize that they've caught whatever it was they were trying to catch. I go over and look...yep. But surprisingly they obey my command to "leave it," and I'm able to gently usher Mac inside. Becker stays on point over the little body, but I'm able to call him inside too.

So then I go out to look at what it is, and it doesn't look like a mouse. It has a short little tail, maybe about an inch long. The legs are very short, and the hind feet are long and close to the body. It's not bloody, so I don't think they actually killed it by biting it, but it has a clear slime on it it's belly and in its mouth--not sure if it's coming out of it or if it's dog drool on it.

Now I'm worried...shrew are poisonous, aren't they? The boys don't seem to have been bitten by it, but I'm worried if they ingested any of this venom (if that's what the clear stuff is).

The boys aren't acting weird, they're wrestling in the living room. Whaddya think? Should I do anything, or is there no need?

(And for the brave of heart...should I go out and take a picture of this little beastie so that I can show you what it looks like? I suppose it could just be a mouse, but I haven't seen many of those so I'm not sure)

AmyB
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Re: Shrew??

Postby AmyB » Thu May 05, 2005 8:10 am

Here, I'll just post links to the pics, without actually posting the pics themselves. This way if someone wants to look at the pics and tell me if they think it's a mouse or a shrew, they can...and then people who don't want to see a little dead guy don't have to.

I tried to get pics from different angles so people could see any identifiable traits, but I didn't actually want to touch it so I didn't flip it over or anything.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... itter2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... itter1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... itter3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... itter4.jpg

Mary
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Re: Shrew??

Postby Mary » Thu May 05, 2005 8:17 am

From what I understand it is the saliva that is poisonous. I'd be more worried if they were bitten by it.

I found this article, don't know if it helps or not. There are evidently many types of shrew. I didn't know that.

http://www.dlia.org/atbi/species/animal ... auda.shtml

And might I just say ew gross!

Michelle
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Re: Shrew??

Postby Michelle » Thu May 05, 2005 8:19 am

Hmm if you flipped it up the right way I would probably be able to tell you if its a mouse or not, I had pet ones when I was younger the tail is too short but could be from injury, nose possibly too pointy *shrug* how big is it? mice are pretty small.

To be honest I haven't ever so much as heard of a shrew so I can't help you out there, I hope everything is fine

AmyB
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Re: Shrew??

Postby AmyB » Thu May 05, 2005 8:21 am

Michelle, I'd say it's about 4 inches long from nose to bum. Mary, that article is pretty interesting...the description of the shrew's fur (short, dense, velvety) is right on. I'm almost positive that neither dog would have made contact with the saliva, so I guess they're okay. I checked their muzzles to make sure they weren't bitten in the little skirmish, and they weren't. Since Mac was the one who got it, he tends to paw out with his front feet to attack things, rather than going for them with his mouth, so I think it just got stepped on.

I guess I was thinking that if it had tried to bite them and wound up getting its own saliva/venom/shrew juice on itself, then Mac may have gotten it in his mouth when he tried to pick it up, but I don't think he did.

Panda
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Re: Shrew??

Postby Panda » Thu May 05, 2005 8:28 am

There are several different species of shrews and only some of them are poisonous, and of those, only one is present in North America. According to everything I have ever read, they are not so poisonous that they are a real threat to large animals, mostly just to other rodents and insects. I know the venom is in the saliva, so I would guess that the goo on the belly is dog slobber and doubt that the dogs got any, or very little, of the toxin. One website I found said that if a shrew were to bite a human it would result in something similar to a bug bite, just a swollen irritated area. So it's not like these guys are rattlesnakes.

If it were me, I would just keep an eye on them for the next day or so. I seriously doubt that it will be a problem.

And give those good puppies an extra special treat for keeping their "territory" rodent free!

Michelle
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Re: Shrew??

Postby Michelle » Thu May 05, 2005 8:29 am

hmmm I guess a mouse could be that big, if it were a particuarly big one, I think a normal one would be more like 2 1/2 - 3 inches body length. It has been awhile, and I am on the other side of the world, maybe you guys have bigger mice over there to go with your big collies and cars

AmyB
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Re: Shrew??

Postby AmyB » Thu May 05, 2005 8:30 am

Okay, that makes me feel better. Thanks, Teags!

AmyB
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Re: Shrew??

Postby AmyB » Thu May 05, 2005 8:32 am

maybe you guys have bigger mice over there to go with your big collies and cars
Hahaha! True, and this is midwestern corn country to boot, where everything is bigger and more strapping! Our mice are hopped up on the genetically altered corn!

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PaulaS
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Re: Shrew??

Postby PaulaS » Thu May 05, 2005 8:42 am

I just wanted to say thanks for not posting pics of the little dead guy. That was very nice of you! I'm too squeamish to look, but I wanted to read the posts, so I appreciate you linking them!

Anyway, I hope the boys are fine.

(This reminds me of the time when Lilly picked up a dead mouse/rat in our old backyard. I was terrified, thinking if it had been poisioned, I didn't want her getting any of it. She raced around with that thing, running away from me and my screams of "LEAVE IT!!!" Of course this was 6:00 in the morning and I'm in my pjs...ummm, my point is, I'm glad your boys have better control! )
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Brenda
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Re: Shrew??

Postby Brenda » Thu May 05, 2005 9:57 am

There's poisonous shrews??? My cats catch tons of little guys (maybe an inch to two inches long) mice, shrews, moles, voles, etc., and often eat them but haven't had a problem. Maybe it's not up this way that they're poisonous, I hope.

Hope your crew is okay

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amyzon
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Re: Shrew??

Postby amyzon » Thu May 05, 2005 10:07 am

I second the "ew!"

Looks like a small rat or a mole to me. Maybe the dogs scared it so much that it upchucked on itself!

I'm still laughing over "shrew juice."


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