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Mice/Mouse: caring for wound; washing.


Wounded House Mouse
Wounded House Mouse  

We found a small house mouse in the bathtub not long ago, and we were alerted to its presence by the cat, who was actually in the tub with it. It acted like its leg was hurt, so we put it in an aquarium tank and took care of it to see if it would mend. There was no blood in the tub, and no blood on the mouse, but there area of skin along the tops of its legs was pink and angry looking. After a few days I checked again, and this little fellow can't properly use his hind legs. He seems to have been partially paralyzed. I was able to handle him and saw that he has a scratch along his right flank that is healing, but on his left side he's missing a chunk of skin. I plan on keeping him because he clearly can't go outside and I already have other mice, but I don't quite know what to do with an open wound. Because of his mobility issues, he can't reach around to clean very well and he's getting scruffy. Plus, he's fallen into his food dish because it's difficult for him to balance - I feed him a dose of Orbax mixed into baby rice cereal and baby food - so now he's a bit crusty. Would it be out of line to attempt cleaning him up a little since he can't manage alone? I plan on using Neosporin Plus very lightly on his wound because I'm sure it pains him. Do you have any suggestions?


It is good that you gave me a photo, because I was able to post it on my rat and mouse site, and get some opinions from vet tech friends.

Certainly the mouse should go to the vet.

If that is impossible, then here is what to do. First give the poor suffering little thing a small drop of children's liquid ibuprofen or Tylenol. Then cleanse the wound as best you can with saline solution or chlorhex solution. Then cover very lightly (actually doesn't matter if he can't reach it to clean) with bag balm; if you don't find that, Bacitracin or plain Neosporin will work. No 'Plus' because it is toxic.

Repeat the pain medication every 6 hours as you can, until the wound looks healed.

As for his scruffiness, you are going to have to wash him gently. Not a bath, but with a vaguely soapy warm  washcloth, and then a wet one to rinse. The soap you use can be watered down baby shampoo or Dr Bronner's. When he is only scruffy, you can use a very soft toothbrush- do they have baby toothbrushes?.

Pay frequent attention to the urine on his tummy and genitals. It will burn and infect him if not washed away several times a day.  

Do NOT let him get cold after washing. He needs a warm place to dry.

If he does survive and stay paralysed, you have quite a job in front of you taking care of him. But he will be the sweetest and most loving pet you could have.

Beware that he might have brought mouse mites into your mouse mischief. Watch your mice for scratching, fur loss, or scabs. Mice can be treated with a drop of kitten/cat/puppy strength Revolution. Not the dog strength. Treat every mouse (and rat) in the house. (Give any rats 3 drops per pound.)

If you can't get revolution at a vet -- often they will give you a kitten dose without a vet visit-- there are places to get it online OTC, and you should do so now anyway, because you should have it on hand. Mice get mites often. I am assuming you are on Facebook. Go to the group Rats are Awesome (I run it; and it is for mice too) and click on 'files' below the photo banner. Choose the file for shopping. There should be links for OTC Revolution in the US, Canada, and Australia. Feel free to join or not.

Please let me know how it goes. I care about these little critters.




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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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