QUESTION: Hi Tamarah,
Just a little reminder, Filbert going bald.
I did some adjustments to Filberts habitate, when I cleaned his tank because of the moths I threw his bed and stuff out because I didn't know were the moths were coming from. I put what little toys I had for him but I failed to replace his little bed. He isolated, he is not the little guy who would come to his door when he saw me, in fact he ran in the opposite direction. And he now is almost completely bald just a few patches left of his fur. When I try to get him so I can see what's going on he darts to the funnel tube and stays in there. I don't press getting him because he is so scared, but why? I couldn't find him one time in his cages so I took a flash light and started very slowly scanning his tanks to see where he likes to hide. Tamarah when I found him he was standing on his hind legs in front of his water bottle frozen with his little eyes slanted like he was scared out of his mind. When I pulled the flash light away he darted to the tube again. I finally replaced his little bed, I wanted to get the kind he had before.
I was kicking myself for not replacing it sooner because he ripped it apart which he always liked to do. And more importantly he started running on his wheel, which he hadn't for sometime.
Tamarah I can't see him close enough to see if he is bleeding, I don't know if he is or if it's just the way the flash light is reflecting on his fur. I put him back on the Tropical food I feed him since he was a baby, and he seems to gotten better moving around, but sadly he is still pulling his hair out.
I don't want to grab him but I don't know what else to do so I can see if he is bleeding. As soon as I put the little bed back he seemed to doing better.
Why is he so afraid Tamarah? I've darkened the tanks as much as I could. He just looks so sad. And it makes me sad. Why is my little guy so sad he hurts himself. He has four wheels a tree stump to hid in a big bed. The walk around and a lookout. He should be happy two tanks. Any suggestions would be helpful so I can mak Filbert feel safe.
ANSWER: The squinting was likely him adjusting to the bright light. You don't need to keep his home dark all the time - a regular light cycle is important for rodents. It's great that the new bed is making such a difference! To prevent a new infestation of moths, check everyone's food regularly (including the bag), the bedding, and change the cages about once a week. That way, they never have anywhere to lay eggs.
Is the dimness the reason you can't check his skin health? Given his baldness this is something you have to be able to monitor. If you just aren't able to get him to hold still long enough, you could bring the entire cage in to a vet for an exam and possibly a skin scrape (to look for lice, mange, mites, etc just in case). Even if he is losing for for a normal reason, which would surprise me unless he has genetics for hairlessness, having less fur will make him more prone to scratching himself too hard, dry skin, and getting cold. We need to find out why he is losing or plucking his hair, and a vet could really help.
The food and cage setup sound great! I am glad he is using a wheel again. If you change the lights back to a day/night schedule, do you think you could assess the health of his skin?
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QUESTION: Hi Tamarah
He gets regular sun light his room has the sun on his side in the morning and at night I have a florescent light to light the room for me to feed them. so I try to keep them on schedule after I feed them I just keep the tv on low but that's the only light from the tv that is on. and as soon as I turn the florescent light off they all get up and start running on their wheels. 11 little mice all running on their wheels- noisy :)
Filberts tank is only dark in the back of the tank I put a towel over it. Like I did for Runaway who calmed down tremendously.
I can't see his skin because as soon as he sees me coming he darts in the tubes and he stays in the middle so I can't get him. I don't want to traumatize him. Because I think he is scared of something(maybe the moths?
But I got them out I hope. None of the other kids are doing it and he has 5 siblings. I thought I saw blood but I got the flash light on him and other then being bald his ears look ok - he just seems to be afraid and I think of me. He was a little evasive before but not like this.
Do you think I should just by him new cages and throw these out?
I get scared when I get home I find myself checking to see if he died and I search the tank with a flash light and if I don't see him right away I expect the worse and I get sick to my stomach and then.. there he is wedged between the two tanks in the tube- You think I would look there first but I don't, not that bright of me. I don't see him scratching but then again he is always in the tubes. he has a long tube that I put up and it goes around the front of the tank on the table like a little side walk where at the end I put a wheel. he lined the tube with the little paper towels I cut up so instead of walking on the tubes its like he is walking on a little rug all the way to the wheel. Runaway has the same set up and he did that too so his little feet aren't walking on the tube but the paper towels. :)
Runaway scratches a lot but he still has his fur. I check him too.
It's okay for him to like being in his tube, and it's even okay for him to be fairly private. Some mice become a little antisocial if not interacted with very frequently, especially as babies. Right now, the fur is the only thing bothering me. For most of him to be bald, I really, really think a vet visit is warranted. If it were my pet, I would try to get a professional to make sure nothing was medically wrong.