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Mice/Nutmeg's Ear (mouse)



I have a white and tan female mouse named Nutmeg and she is only a few months old. The veins in her right ear are larger and redder than the ones on her left. It is warm to the touch and she has been scratching it excessively to the point where she now has a small cut. There is no discharge tough, it would appear she has an ear infection but I cannot be sure.  She is eating, drinking and running around like normal (no circling) and I really would take her to the vet if I had the money too but I have had no luck finding one in my price range! I just want my baby better, what can I do?

Please help!

Jessica and Nutmeg

ANSWER: Dear Jessica,

Poor little Nutmeg.  Although an ear infection is a good guess,  it is not the only possibility.  It can also be mites.

The reason it just took me a day and a half to even say that (sorry!) is that the people I talk to about these things were slow getting back to me and I didn't know what to think about the veins. But Apparently (and happily)  the veins can appear like that due to any irritation.

Still, we don't know which one it is. A vet would be able to look into her little ear to see if it was red. If you happen to have Revolution at home for another animal you can use a tiny drop (on the skin, not fur, back of the neck, don't let her wash for ten minutes) to eliminate the possibility of mites. In that case you could wait two days and see if her behavior changed.

If you don't have that easy option I would prefer to send you straight to the vet. The vet can see if the ear looks infected and decide which antibiotics to prescribe. Can you do that?

If it just isn't going to work, write back and I will help you treat for both with OTC remedies, but that's really not the best for the mouse if she can go to a vet. I get it if she really can't.

Please let me know.  As I said, I can help you with a few OTC remedies to treat both possibilities at once. It's just best to figure it out and use vet remedies .



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for responding to my question!

All of the vets in my area are too expensive for me to take her to, and I know that would be the best option but I really can't.  If you could help me with OTC that would be awesome! Her ear looks the same, but not any worse so I guess that's a good thing!


Jessica and Nutmeg


OK, let's just talk about treating for both.

Ear Infection:

Although this mouse had a respiratory infection, the easiest OTC antibiotic is the same:


1. Revolution is about 10 times easier to use and less stressful for the mouse than anything else. See if you can get some from someone who has a cat, kitten, or puppy (cut the dog version in half with water), or get a kitten supply at the vet with no visit.

Apply one small drop to the skin on the back of the neck. Don't let mouse wash for ten minutes. Deep clean cage and done.

2. Not as fun: Ivermectin. Pick up a bottle of iver-on cattle parasiticide at your local feed store and mix it 1 part iver-on to 5 parts water. You don't have to soak the mouse, but get its fur wet on its main body and near the ears. Deep clean cage, and everything washable. What is not washable can be frozen for two days, or thrown away.

Repeat all of this twice again, for a total of three times, a week apart.

3. Really not fun for mouse: 8 n 1 rodent flea and tick spray. This is very unpleasant for all involved. Here I give the instructions for a mouse of a very distinguished name:

If none of this works, write back, but I don't know how much I can help you with the other, less common possibilities.

Best of luck!




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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): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


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.

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

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