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Mice/Sick mouse


I went to check on one of my male mice, Simon today and I noticed he was really lethargic, he had very crusty eyes, sores on his neck, back and under his eye and small amounts of blood in his ear. I am worried about him, he just isn't himself. Usually I can't grab him without him squirming but he hardly cared. He just sat in my hands and spun around occasionally. He's not using his wheel or eating as much as usual but I did manage to get him to eat a goldfish cracker cause he loves them... He lives alone so I didn't have to separate him but nothing's changed for him recently that could have sparked it. Any idea what could be the problem and what I can do for him?

Hi Allie,

This sounds very serious.  Is there a vet in your area who is familiar with or can help you with pocket pets like mice?  It sounds to me like Simon is very sick.

The sores sound like they could be something called mites, but there is not a way for me to be sure from here and without seeing him, and there are actually several things that can cause sores, scabs, or itching.  Mites usually cause itchiness and scabbing around the ears, face, shoulders, and neck, but do not happen overnight.  Mites can come in on bedding, or even be present all the time but only flare up when his immune system is struggling with something else.  The fact that he is so lethargic means whatever is going on is very serious and making him feel very badly.

If you cannot find a vet, try calling around to your local animal rescues, rehabilitators, pet shops, and rodent breeders to see if anyone can point you in the right direction, as Simon really needs to see a professional for help and medicine as soon as possible.  That's your first step.  If you cannot find anyone to help, please send me pictures of him and his sores and I will get back to you as fast as I can with any help I can provide.

Best of luck and please keep me updated on little Simon,


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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: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


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!

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

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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