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Mice/Spooky :(


QUESTION: Tamarah, really no question.

Spooky I think is taking a turn for the worst - I couldn't find him in his tank, finally he was in his little peanut hideaway I went to lift it and he kind of made a motion that told me he wanted to be left alone. so I put it back down and he blocked his little door with all the paper towel snip its. this was Saturday.I would put my traps out to see if he was eating and drinking and he was but he would never come out when I was there and I let him know I was there. he use to run to me to play on his porch. when I saw him for the first time late Sunday his left eye was bleeding a real dark red, I had a little flash light and tried not to shine it in his eyes. I don't know if his ear is bleeding or if he just wiped the blood from the eye to the ear, it didn't look like they were bleeding but - his eye is definitely bleeding. his ears are not round like a normal mouse they have a split as if they opened up and he has the letter V. I never saw anything like it before. its a perfect V as if cut with scissors, not eaten away. everytime I opened the door to the cage he would walk away from me. so I closed it and just watched him and it was like he was touching all his toys he went to all the toys in all three cages and either got in them or sat on top of them. Looking at him, I thought he was saying goodbye to them :( Iam beside myself and I know you couldn't get back to me right away, so I am doing my best- He doesn't look like he was in pain, and he was walking better from the last time we spoke. He is just shying away from me, and I am so sad about it because I just want to hold him. but I don't want to upset him, I know he is sick. and old :(
I don't know if I did the right thing Tamarah and I am not sure he wasn't in pain. so I waited for him to go to another tank and I double dosed the infant Tylenol and Tetracycline and I hoped for the best. He has been avoiding me since Friday night- I saw him I just didn't wake him. Sunday was the first time I was able to see his face. and I think he came out because I set the room up so the kids no I am going to sleep and I will see them in the morning. so I think spooky only came out because he didn't expect me to come back and spy on him.  and he did, he came out after I had left.
Meanwhile, Little Rummy just sleeps and Runaway is back to chewing on the cage - these two are  directly across from Spooky.
I peeked in on the little Spook this morning and he was in his little ball, he was moving around and he sniffed my finger instead of moving away. but he closes his eyes when he sniffs so I couldn't see if it was still bloody,  Maybe my mixture worked because he ate the traps so I know he had to drink.
maybe I do have a question. should I give him a drop of the Revolution? I don't know what else to do for the little guy.

ANSWER: Revolution treats mites and lice.  Do you see any scabs or patches of missing fur around the eyes, ears, chest, neck, shoulders, or face?  If so, mites are a possibility, and it might help - but if he is not excessively itching at these areas and they are not irritated (besides the two specific injuries), then Revolution is not necessary.

It would be a good idea to stick to a normal dosage of tetracycline and tylenol from this point forward - raising the dose once isn't much of a risk, but prolonged overexposure to tylenol can be difficult on his liver.

It sounds like he scratched his face, or could have hurt himself on something in the cage.  Check everywhere for sharp corners or anything that could have hurt him and remove it - if he did it, you can help by adding something with a rough, even surface in front of his water or food or anywhere he walks across frequently to help him file down his nails.  Is he still too skittish for you to put a little triple antibiotic ointment on his ear?  If kept clean, ears typically heal very well in mice (and sometimes even with no cleaning at all, but if you can, that would be best!).

Truthfully, the thing that worries me the most is hearing that his eye is bleeding.  Mice and rats alike can have a reddish brown discharge called porphyrin that is excreted from the nose and/or eyes when very stressed (such as when sick or after an injury).  This is called porphyrin staining.  While this would be the better of the two options, if you think he is definitely bleeding from his eye, he needs to see a veterinarian for an evaluation, and possibly medicated eye drops.  Eye injuries, unlike ear ones, can turn ugly very fast.  The next time he is out where you can see him, look closely - can you tell if it is his eye, a scratch from near the eye, or red-stained tears?

It's great that he still comes out and is active, though, even if it is mostly when you are not around!  That tells me he is still feeling well enough to get around!  :)


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

QUESTION: No I don't see any scabs, he does have a bald streak down his back, just to the shoulder blades, not the neck but it starts right after, hard to explain, he has a little bald spot on his head but I never saw him itch it and he has had it some time, he's 3 so I just figured the little guy was losing his hair. but I never saw him itchy or scratchy and where it is I don't think he could reach that far. I took your suggestion before and made things easy for him because I noticed he couldn't lift himself to go thru the tube to get to the othe tanks and i made it so he can get in and out by just walking thru stairs. Even though his eye was bleeding I thought he had a little spring in his step and it looked like he was  having fun making his bed this  morning. Spooky is like the little dog who can't wait for his owner to get home and he runs to the door and jumps all over you when you walk in. so you know he sick when he doesn't. Tamarah I don't have a vet to take him to, and I would be afraid because of his age they would just put him down and honestly I couldn't live with myself, I want God to take him when he is ready to receive him, and I will know Spooky is were he needs to be.
When my little munchkin comes out tonight I am going to try and catch a picture, and look closely at his eye. Pray I get it so I can show you
I will lower the dose on the meds.

A vet cannot put him down without your consent - all they can do is suggest it.  You can try plain saline eye drops, but a professional would be the best person to help out, since as I said, eye injuries can become quite serious.  Try searching your local pharmacy for eye drops that are saline only, none of the ones that have extra chemicals in them like anti-redness stuff.  This will help flush the eye and keep it a little cleaner as it hopefully heals on its own.

I'd be very interested in a photo if you can get one - just write me back and let me know.



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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!

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