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Mice/Mouse with bald spot and scab, washing, itching

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QUESTION: Thanks for the help once again :) I think my mouse may be a male then as I do not recall seeing any nipples when I first held it and picked it up but I will check again!

Here is my breeder's e-mail address: felicitygrant@hotmail.co.za.

Hope you are able to get in contact!

Regards!

ANSWER: Thank you very much :)

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

QUESTION: Hi there.

Thank you so much for your previous advice. The mouse that I saved has now grown bigger than I thought and turned out to be a male. He was doing great until about a week ago I noticed he was losing hair at the top of his back, neck area. It started to worsen over the next couple of days, he then formed red scabs in the area and one that was behind his ear was even bleeding. There are a few things that may be causing it:

1.I looked it up online and read that mice tend to suffer with OCD, constant grooming, I have noticed he grooms himself continuously and I thought this may be the cause because he is bored. I hardly take him out his cage as sadly I do not have the time. I put a few small cardboard boxes and more loo rolls in his cage and the rash/skin disorder seemed to be better after a few days. I now see it is back again and he is scratching like crazy.
2.I am using cheap saw dust from the pet shop for his bedding,  I know it is bad but I have been using it since I got him and it never seemed to irritate his skin before. I would have used the corn cob bedding that I use for my rats but I am worried he will digest it. I have now ordered Aspen bedding online for him just in case it may be the sawdust.
3.I have been feeding him Reggie Rat mixed with  pumpkin seeds and flax seeds as the pet shop mice food mix mainly consists of sunflower seeds, which he doesn’t seem to like, and seemed a waste of money.

I am really unsure what to do but I can tell it is really bothering him and he urgently needs something to cure this. Do you have any thoughts as to what may be the cause of this? Is there anything you can recommend to cure it as well as how I would go about applying it? He jumps and darts around when I try pick him up so I can only imagine how hard it will be having to hold him down and apply an ointment.

Would really appreciate your help  Thanks!

Answer
Dear Nita,

The first thing to do is treat for mites. There are two options. Revolution is usually the best and easiest, but maybe not for you. With Revolution you just put a tiny drop on the skin on the back of the mouse's neck. The problem is it must be the skin. You would probably need to have two people and terrify him by holding him down, maybe wrapped in a small washcloth. The advantage is that it protects him for a month.

You do have to deep clean everything in his cage whatever method you choose. I am glad you have ordered the aspen because sawdust is terrible for mice. They breathe it in and it damages their extremely delicate respiratory systems. You wash everything washable throughly and either throw away or freeze for two days anything you can't wash.

The other good method is ivermectin. You either get it in a paste form (for horses) and feed him a pinhead sized piece, or get the cattle liquid version Iver-On and dilute it to 1/6 and spray it on him. Avoid the wound of course, and his face. He does not to be sprayed all over.  Either way, with ivermectin, the mouse must be treated and the cage must be deep cleaned once a week for three weeks.

The scratching may also due to too much protein in his diet. He should not be eating rat food in any case, except the new Oxbow baby rat and mouse kibble. The seeds you are adding have a lot of protein and this could be the problem.

Third, to distract him, he needs a big cage and all kinds of toys. He needs to be able to climb. Also he should have intelligent toys like having to figure out how to get treats out of a box.

You should do all of this at once and not try to figure out the problem. These are all permanent solutions. If it does not work he has to go to an exotics or pocket pets vet. He may have a skin fungus. If the vet thinks it is OCD, tell them that there has been success in a few OCD mice with Haldol.

Best of luck to him.

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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