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Mice/Pet mice and treating URI with fish tetracycline



Hi, I read on an older post that you gave directions for using the aquarium treatment version of tetracycline in the water bottle to treat mice with URI'S.
I would, of course, take them to a vet - however I was told by both the pet store and their vet that " it wouldn't be worth it"...  :(
This vet is the only one around here that sees exotics.
So... I have my fingers crossed that this version of the tetracycline will help.
I had four mice and one suddenly had that clicking and breathing distress and died.
One seems fine so I have her in a separate cage and the other two one seems worse and one has improved from previously hunched and breathing with heaving sides.
So far I have done the following-
I have a cool mist humidifier by their cage and I have a covered heating pad on low intermittently in the cage for them to stay warm.
I just bought API brand T.C. Tetracycline and it comes in a box with 10 packets of powder. Each packet is 500mg.
Your advice on this topic previously was for capsules of it so I am at a loss for what the dosage should  be for their water. Could you help me out with that? How long should I give it to them and lastly, can I just put them all back together since they'll all be drinking the water?
And also, In your opinion, since this is all I have to help them, will this do the trick?
I appreciate your help and am so grateful you offer your time and advice here- thank you!  
I hope you see this soon :)

Dear Angela,

I am so sorry I missed this question :( and hope the mice are ok??

They may all stay together.

A capsule is 250mg so you would put 1/2 packet in one large water bottle, shake very well, cover with tin foil, and change every 2-3 days.

These are my tetracycline instructions:


You are going to put some in her water bottle and try to get an initial dose inside her.  

If you have the capsules, empty one capsule into a large water bottle or one half into a small one.  Shake extremely well.  If you have the powder,  1/4 flat teaspoon measure is the same as 1 capsule.  If you have the tablets, completely crush them into fine powder with the back of a spoon and use as powder.   This should be her only water source.  It's fine for any other mice to drink the water too, unless they are pregnant or nursing, so it is good that you have two separate cages. Cover the water bottle with tin foil,  because the medication is sensitive to light.  They may chew on the tin foil, because some mice love it. Don't worry about that. It's great for their teeth!  Clean the bottle and change the water every few days for 10-14 days.

Next, take another capsule worth and mix it with one drop of water.  This will make a paste about the consistency of mustard.    You have plenty to play with, so if the mixture is too watery, try again.  Now pick up the mouse by the scruff of the neck.  This is the skin just behind her head.  This does not hurt her-- it's how her mama used to carry her-- but she will struggle valiantly.   Holding her gently but firmly,  quickly place a small amount, maybe 1/4 pea size, into her now open mouth.  This is hard.  Be careful of her nose!  Wipe a bit more onto her whiskers and chin.  She will ingest that when she washes herself.  If you couldn't get any inside her at all, wipe some more on her head and sides.  Put her back into her cage so she will wash herself.  Keep any other mouse from washing her, if necessary removing the other mouse for an hour.


However it would be far better if the vet would cooperate. Even with that attitude, maybe the vet would be willing to prescribe you decent meds: if you can get doxycycline and either amoxicillin or Baytril (enrofloxacin), give each mouse one drop of each, twice a day.

It is also possible to get either of these medications for fish (and sometimes birds) and if you do, write back and I will hope with mixing and dosage.

To find a better exotics vet, you can try these links:

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (WORLDWIDE)

Association of Avian Veterinarians (USA)

The Rat Whisperer (USA)

The Rat Fan Club: Rat Vetsó(Midwest and Eastern U.S.)

Again I am so sorry that I didn't get this immediately. I know how quickly mice can go and I really hope you haven't lost them.




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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.

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