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Question
I noticed a couple weeks ago the back of my mouses head was starting to bald a little bit. Last week it became much more clear that it was balding and hes scratching quite a bit.

Last week I did the 8 in 1 spray incase it was mites. I used the kind for birds because my mouse is very small and I didn't want it to be too harsh. I was only able to really get his back and a little under him. He moves very fast and isn't easy to hold and I didn't want to get him in his eyes. It didn't seem to help. I just tried it again tonight and could only get his back side again.

I tried putting some neosporin on his wounds that were red behind his ear but he moves too quickly and just wouldn't let me. Theirs also some scabbing behind his head. I'm also curious is anyone has tried coconut oil on their mice because coconut oil is supposed to be good for the skin and is antibacterial and antifungal?

I'm just trying to think of more options before I have to bring him to the vet.

Answer
Hi Heather,

It's still possible that the cause is mites, even if the 8-in-1 spray was not initially effective.  It definitely works best if you are able to work it into the entire coat, but as you noticed, that's not always possible!  It's also mandatory that you treat two times, once to kill the adults and once an appropriate number of days later (it says on the bottle, but the exact time frame is eluding me) to treat the mites that were eggs at the time of the first spraying.  You will also need to change the bedding completely to fresh bedding (which you can freeze for 24 hours first to kill incoming mites) and wash the entire cage and everything in it, disposing of anything that cannot be washed.  If mites from the environment are not removed as well by doing this, they'll just hop right back on after the spray wears off.

I now suggest using Revolution, which is available from your vet (it's given for larger pets like cats, but is safe for use on rodents as well).  Revolution soaks into the skin and kills mites that jump on him for a long time after application, plus is much less irritating to apply - you only need to put ONE drop on the back of his neck and keep him from grooming until it is dry.  That one drop lasts a whole month!  Then, clean out his whole cage and there you go!  You should see less itchiness within the first day or two.

If you do not see any relief for him after either of these treatments, then I would start to explore other potential causes of itchiness, such as allergies, neurological problems (habits/self destructive things, like people biting their nails), or even other parasites like ringworm.  Your vet would be a great help for that, so if you are already going in to get the Revolution and they want to see him first, you could ask for something called a skin scrape, which is a harmless procedure that shows a vet exactly what is causing the itchiness and is basically a short cut to getting an answer.

I have heard of people using coconut oil for hairless rats to moisturize their skin, but its antifungal and antimicrobial properties would NOT help in repelling mites.  If you suspect the itching is from parasites like mites or lice, like I think it probably is from what you've told me, you'd be better off asking your veterinarian for Revolution so that the itching and scabbing can be stopped as soon as possible.  Don't stress about the neosporin - it's great for helping keep debris out of scabs and scratches, but it's okay if your mouse buddy isn't a big fan.  The sooner the itching is stopped, the faster they will heal.  :)

-Tam

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Tamarah

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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: 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/

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

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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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