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Mice/Mite Treatment

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Question
I've noticed my newly adopted mice have been itching quite a bit in the last week or two. From the info that I have found online I am suspecting mites. I'd like to treat them just in case. However, it seems like everyone has a different opinion on how to treat mice for mites. Some sites only recommend Ivermectin cattle pour on (diluted), others recommend Kitten Revolution, others suggest Beaphar Spot On, or 8in1... What has your experience been with these products?

Answer
Hi Lynn,

I do not recommend livestock ivermectin for a few reasons.  First, diluting topical ivermectin to a dosage which is both strong enough to be effective and weak enough not to cause harm is tricky when the base medication is for such a large animal.  Second, ivermectin must be given more frequently than other medications, causing more distress to the mouse, which is just silly in my mind if there are better methods available.  The only time I recommend ivermectin is when prescribed and mixed by your veterinarian.

I am not familiar with Beaphar, so I cannot advise on that one.

I have used both Revolution and 8-in-1 products and have seen that both are effective.  Between the two I would always suggest Revolution, because not only is it extremely easy to apply, it lasts significantly longer and only takes a single dose.  8-in-1 is also effective but has shown side effects in some select mice (irritated skin, which makes it difficult to tell when the parasites have been killed), is harder to spray on all over without getting it in the eyes or on your skin, and is a little bit scarier to mice.  8-in-1 takes two spaced doses to be effective and complete cage changes and cleaning out both times.  If using the 8-in-1, whether because Revolution is not available to you from your vet or for another reason, I would suggest using the avian formula which is slightly gentler.

With all this being said, know that some itching is NORMAL, and you should only treat for mites if you see signs of inflammation, hair loss, irritation, scabbing, or breaks to the skin.  A vet visit is always best if you have someone in your area who treats pocket pets like mice - they can do a very quick and noninvasive test to look and see what exactly is causing the itchiness.  A vet is the only way to definitively diagnose the cause of skin problems.

Best of luck, and I hope my experiences have helped you figure out the best course of action!  Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

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: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

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!

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

Education/Credentials
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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