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Hi Tamarah,

This is my mouse, Rosita. She and her "sister" are about nine months old and live together. About two months ago, her sister started to barber Rosita and it seems to be progressing. It started with just the whiskers and now it is part of her head and around her eyes, too. Is there anything we can do to reduce this behavior? From what I've read, it isn't harmful to pet mice, but I feel badly for her. The mice seem to get along just fine. Rosita is still active and eats normally.

Thanks! Mahriah

Hi Mahriah,

Is Rosita scratching at any of the barbered spots?  It looks healty to me, so as long as he is not fussing with any of her bald spots, it shouldn't be bugging her.

When barbering, the dominant mouse chews the hair of the submissive mice, usually in the same pattern on every mouse.  She doesn't pull at it or pluck it, just nibbles it away.  Since it's just being trimmed, it doesn't hurt and it looks like grooming.  So, while her head might feel a little cooler these days, it shouldn't bother Rosita in the slightest.  It just looks a little silly!

I don't know of anything that can stop a barber from barbering.  It doesn't result from stress or anything in her environment that you can change, in fact, it may even have a genetic component, as well as being learned (usually from parents, I believe).  You can separate them, but chances are any other mouse you put her sister with is going to get a fur cut, too.  If they are getting along well and Rosita doesn't seem bothered by it, I wouldn't worry.

I'm sorry I don't have more suggestions for you!  Best of luck, and let me know if it starts to irritate her or you have any other questions!



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