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Mice/oily fur on baby mouse

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Question
Hi Tamarah,
I have a "fuzzy" a baby mouse with fur. I got it from the reptile store as a feeder mouse, but I thought it would be a fun to have one ... it just opened it's eyes yesterday. It had a fuzzy coat when I got it but now it is oily LOOKING... it feels like normal fur. Do you know why it looks greasy/oily? I have read about it a little but nothing seems to answer my question.

         Thanks,
         Lily

Answer
Hi Lily,

Fuzzies are still babies, and normally momma would help groom their coats, but since he is alone his fur might get a little gunky until he can groom himself.  He should be able to do so pretty soon, so don't worry about taking over the task or anything.

Fur condition is also an indicator of diet and health.  What was he eating at the store?  A switch in diet, one without enough moisture or without proper nutrients, or even illness can all cause a messy appearance.  At this age he should be on a diet of kitten milk replacement, supplemented with a mouse mix for him to start exploring.  He cannot go off the milk until he can use a water bottle.  Every store classes fuzzies differently, too, so when I say at this age, I mean about 7-14 days - a mouse with a full coat who hasn't started hopping or exploring avidly yet, which sounds about right to me if the little guy just opened his peepers!

Congratulations on your new pet, and let me know if I can help with anything else!

-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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