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Mice/Male mouse eye problem


My approximately 6 month old male mouse has a healthy looking coat, teeth, and nose but his the skin around his left eye is pink and swollen. I've noticed this for about three weeks and I cannot tell if the eye is getting better or not. There is no discharge and he does not make any wheezing sounds of strain or other weird noises. What he does do is sneeze but not incredibly too often. What concerns me the most is that he cannot open his left eye as much than his right eye and when he wakes up, he has a hard time opening his left eye. I use aspen bedding which should be okay for mice. I really hope it is not upper respiratory infection but I do have a vet to take him to if I need to. Thank you so much. I have attached an image of my mouse.

Hi Hyerin,

Aspen bedding is wonderful for mice, and this does not sound like an upper respiratory infection.  Actually, it doesn't sound like an infection at all, and I don't see anything wrong with the eye from the photo you attached.  It's okay that he closes it a little longer when waking up, and I would only be concerned if the eye area or eye itself appears swollen, the skin turns red/flaky/inflamed/goopy, you start to see discharge or crusties in or around the eye, or you see hair loss or excessive grooming of the one eye in particular.

If you are concerned about the eye not opening when he wakes up, you can help him by soaking a small piece of gauze (not cotton balls or swabs) in warm saline and gently dabbing the eyelid.  He will clean it away, but it will help to dissolve crusties that might be keeping the eye closed.  This is not necessary if there are no crusties or discharge, and you don't want to leave his whole face wet or anything as he can get cold.  If you DO start to see discharge or any of the symptoms I mentioned earlier, you can ask your vet for antibiotic eye drops that will clear it right up.  The last thing I can recommend is being sure that his cage is cleaned regularly - you want to be able to stick your whole face in it (if so inclined) and not smell ammonia.  For male mice, I usually recommend 1-2 changes a week to keep on top of their marking habits.  Ammonia in the cage can irritate mousey eyes, so preventing buildup is the best way to prevent eye infections or soreness.

Hope I helped, but please let me know if you have any other questions!  Best of luck,



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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

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