I've had a female mouse for about a year now and have not previously encountered any health problems with her. A few weeks ago I noticed a red spot on her ear but it did not seem to be raw or bleeding so I thought nothing of it. I went to change her cage bedding today and found blood around her ears, nose and eyes. This had not been there previously and she has started scratching at her ears constantly. I was wondering whether you might recognize this problem and know of any effective treatments? Any information would be much appreciated.
Answer Hi Rhiannon,
Sounds like it could be mites, something that many mice have but only sometimes get out of control. There are a couple of ways you can treat this. First, if you have a way to visit a vet, the very best thing you could get for her would be selamectin (Revolution). Most vets have this on hand because it is used for treating fleas on cats, but it is a very safe and extremely effective way to treat mites and lice on mice, too! Ask your vet if they can either sell you some or administer it themselves - all you need is a single drop on the back of the neck. You don't have to get it on all of the scabs - just putting it on the skin of the back of her neck will be enough to kill the mites that are making her face and ears so itchy (keep it away from her face). Then it is important to keep her from grooming herself for at least ten minutes afterwards so it has time to soak in and she doesn't end up ingesting it.
After treating her for the mites it should only take a few days to see improvement, and the itching should stop almost immediately. You'll have to clean and sanitize the entire cage and replace any wooden or absorbent toys, as they can harbor mite eggs and reinfect her later on. That's it!
If your local vets will not give you Revolution or do not have it, write me back and I can explain how to find and use ivermectin instead. This is something you can get at a feed and livestock supply store, but is a little more difficult to give to mice, so Revolution would be your best bet.
Let me know if there is anything else I can help with!
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!
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Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising
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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!
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