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Mice/Mouse ears blackened and shrinking


QUESTION: Please help me my little mouse - Little Rum is sick. his little ears are being eaten away - I understand he might have mites but I don't know how to treat them.  I am unable to take him to the vet. Although he is sad to look at, he eats well drinks well and even explores his tanks, he has two. I have put the tetracycline in his water and what it has done was take the redness of scratching his ears away and it looks just like scabs,and they are black where the ear was eaten away. He is starting to get little marks on his face the same way the ears started. Although he doesn't appear to be in any pain, I do give him a drop of the infant Tylenol also in his water. What else can I do for him, He is my only friend, I need him. Please tell me what I should do I have cleaned his tank, new toys and everything but the marks are appearing on his face. I hope you can help me. Please

ANSWER: Dear Jackie,

Well I am not a vet and don't see the mouse. However, I am pretty sure I know what is happening with his ears. There is a kind of mite called a sarcoptic mite, which causes sarcoptic mange, which is fairly rare but does eat away at the ears. Actually not every vet would know about it either. You simply need to treat Rum  for mites.

The best thing to do is to find a friendly vet who will let you buy a kitten sized package of Revolution with no vet visit. Revolution is an amazing mite and other parasite treatment. If you definitely can't get it from a vet, you can get it from Australia; the problem is the time. I have heard that it can take two weeks, which is far too long for him.

Revolution is applied as one small drop on the back of his neck. On the skin, not the fur. Don't worry if the drop is bigger than you meant it to be. The stuff isn't all that dangerous to rats. Then don't let him wash for ten minutes.

If you can't get Revolution, the next option is ivermectin. The best form to get that is for a mouse is a liquid for cattle called Iver-on. You mix this with FIVE parts water to ONE part iveron. Cut a small piece of a clean sponge and use it to wet the mouse. You don't actually have to get all of him, luckily; and certainly do not put it on wounds. However get it as close to his ears on healthy skin as you can. And cover his back, massaging it in gently. Then you need to be in a nice warm dry room and keep him moving or at least  get him dry before putting him back in the cage and letting him wash himself.

Please treat him as soon as possible and expect improvement within maybe 5 days. He might even get a little itchy for a day or two as the mites die; I am not sure how it is for sarcoptic mange. Let me know what happens. If he does not improve or only partially improves, I have knowledgeable friends- vet techs- who can help me further.

Good luck little Rum!



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

QUESTION: Natasha, thank you so much for getting back to me. I placed an order for the Revolution from that link, I added a little note in the comment box if maybe they could do their best to get it to my my little guy was sick. I don't know if it will speed things along, but it makes me feel so better inside that at least help is on the way.

Natasha, I find that most people look at me like I am a little crazy because I love a little mouse. I had a little wild mouse who would come and sit on my desk and we would have lunch and dinner together. I am not kidding. Two little souls me and him (Chester)together he was happy when he would come for his eats and I enjoyed with all my heart watching this little guy come to me and literally sit on my desk and eat.  He started getting old and would turn his back and not face me when he ate. I knew he was going to leave me soon. I had never handled him he was wild. On the last day with him he crawled under my computer and I put my hand out he put his two little front feet on my hand I could feel him trembling. I felt like he was saying goodbye and thank you I told him I will always love you, Chester leave your body where mommy can get you" I didn't know where he went after his time with me. I came in the next day and he lay right by my phone, where he knew I wouldn't miss him.

I pray Little Rum wont have to wait long. Just sad for my little mouse. Some people don't understand they are exactly like us.

Hi Jackie,

What a lovely story. I run a Facebook group Rats and Mice are Awesome (unfortunately the mice didn't make it into the Facebook title), which you are very much invited to join. I would love to put Chester's story and photo in our collection of member writings.

I go by Natasha-Mouse Millikan.

Let me know who you are :)

best of luck to little Rum; I hope the Revolution is fast.




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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.

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

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

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