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Mice/Red patches on mouse ears

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Dinah
Dinah  
Hi Natasha :)

I have eight female mice in a large snake tank. Their bedding is dried rye grass over newspaper and cardboard, and I feed them a basic supermarket mix with added oats and small dog food pieces. One of my mice, a six month old fawn doe called Dinah, has red patches on her ears that are not present in the other mice. I initially thought it might be caused by a bedding or food allergy, but I can't be sure as previously I had a mouse with a bedding allergy who rubbed her nose and eyes raw (till I changed the bedding), but had no red patches. I am hoping it is not an illness (although I am able to quarantine her if it is). I'd like to avoid a vet visit, but I know a vet that specialises in rodents if it's necessary. I haven't found any other websites that show this malady. She doesn't appear to be scratching at them or suffering at all. Do you have any theories or suggestions for me? (Note: if it is a bedding allergy, I know I can buy Carefresh for the mice but it is very expensive where I come from and there aren't many alternatives). Thanks!

Answer
Dear Kelsey,

Dinah should go to the vet. Her problem doesn't look like the usual culprits of common mites or allergies that I have seen. There is a specific and fairly rare external ear mite that mice get, called sarcoptic mites. In the end, sarcoptic mites can eat away at the ears, leaving stubs. But I have not seen the early stages, so I do not know if they start as red spots. Treatment for standard mites does not work for sarcoptic mites.

Do bring her to the vet, and let me know what the vet says. That way I can better help the next mouse.

If the vet does suspect allergies I can help you deal with that.

Best of luck and health to Dinah.

Squeaks,

Natasha

Mice

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Natasha

Expertise

I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

Organizations
I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

Education/Credentials
B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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