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Mice/Mouse scratching ear again!! Allergies?

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QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

It's Sarah again, with Rory.

I thought she was getting better, but her ear has still not healed. She keeps scratching at it and making it bleed again. I thought it was just maybe itchy or something. None of the other mice are scratching, this is something only to do with her, so I'm thinking something is wrong with her. :(

Yesterday I noticed extra skin worn away on the same ear that's been red and bloody for awhile now... and just now I noticed her other ear is also red and bloody. I was watching her scratch today and I didn't think anything of it until I went to say goodnight and her other ear was crusted with blood!!!!

I googled it and came upon some information that it might have to do with the weather change outside, or a possibly allergy to her food. The poster in that forum fixed it by a food change. I use food specifically formulated for mice, the Fiesta brand. Should I switch to something else?

Also, on a side note, the mice are near my stovetop (not in my kitchen, on the top of a half wall that's in my living room but also behind my stove) and I'm wondering if maybe my cooking could be putting something into the air that irritates her? I don't use the stovetop that often and she's been there since I bought her, and this problem has been only since I last contacted you. Maybe it's the weather change, since that's about when it started getting warmer?

I don't know what to do! :( I've changed nothing for her since I bought her. Her bedding, food, treats, everything have all been the same! Now I feel bad too because I thought Amy was hurting her when this whole time she was scratching at herself!

ANSWER: Dear Sarah,

If you want to test for allergies, the following post will help. I would change these things: wash the seeds and only change two things at once, every two days. And, since you are worried about location, change that as well.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Mice-3824/2012/4/mouse-scratching-watery-eyes.htm

If that doesn't do it, we do have to deal with mites. Did you have any luck getting Revolution or selamectin for the mites? It will be sooo much easier than a spray. Keep trying.

Squeaks,

Natasha

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

QUESTION: Hi Natasha,

I did some research on mice food. I'm thinking it's the peanuts and such I had in their cages. I had no idea it was bad for them or that it was a common irritant for pet store mice :(

Amy has developed an itch now, too. I noticed behind her one ear is a little red. I haven't seen her scratch, though. Poor Rory is starting to look ridiculous! She is scratching up a storm, but only on her ears, which still leads me to believe it's not mites, especially since the other mice don't have it. Wouldn't they be scratch and biting and losing fur all over if it were mites? Not just behind their ears?

I read that food allergies can cause "hotspots" that become very itchy for the mice and they scratch away the skin. One common "hotspot" was behind the ears, right where Rory is scratching.

I cleaned out their cages again and removed all old food. I'm going to the store tomorrow to buy them some Brown's Carnival Mix, which I heard is great for the mice, supplemented by some fresh fruits and veggies. I know I'll have to remove some nuts and such from the mix, but I'm going to try it out and let you know how it goes.

And I can hear Amy and the Doctor fighting now since I just changed their cage... last time I just took out half of the old bedding and replace it with new, but since I wanted to get rid of any traces of peanuts I removed it all... and now they're fighting over territory, I'm assuming.

This is like dealing with high schoolers! I hope all my babies are okay :(

No luck on the mite stuff. I'm going to ask some friends with cats tonight just in case. I really don't think it's mites, though. Wouldn't they all have it? And wouldn't it be everywhere? Of course, I'm probably wrong.

Answer
Hi,

I hope you get it figured out this way... but I do need to tell you, 1. often only one mouse of a bunch shows symptoms of mites, though they always all have it; and 2. The symptoms can show up anywhere on the mouse.

Another reason for a "hotspot" can be too much protein.

Keep me informed.

squeaks,

Natasha

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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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