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Mice/HELP my mouse has red scabs near her tail.

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Scabs
Scabs  
My pet mouse has two red scabs near her tail and they are the size of a pencils eraser. I have two other pet mice and one of them likes to fight a lot (they are all females) when i found her in her cage she was cuddling with one of the mice and she coudln't move. I have seperated her and she is more active. The scab is kind of hard now, red and black fron the sides. What do I do I can't go to the vet because we really can't pay for the visit? What does it have?

Answer
Hi Maria,

Those definitely look like fighting injuries.  There are a couple of things you can do to keep them clean and to protect her from infection.

The first thing I would suggest is to keep the scabs clean until the skin is no longer broken and new skin has appeared.  You can find betadine (a safe, iodine mixture) in any pharmacy or pharmacy section.  Grab some gauze pads, too, if you don't have any on hand.  Fill a small cup with warm water and add drops of betadine until it is the color of dark tea, then dip a gauze pad into the mix and apply to each scab.  Let it sit for several seconds, then clean it away with a second gauze pad dipped in plain warm water (it's okay if it stains the fur a bit, it won't hurt even if groomed).  Then, using a clean finger, apply a very thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin or something similar).  You don't need much - just enough to very lightly coat each scabbed area.  You can do this 2-3 times a day until the skin heals.  The fur should begin growing back within a week from the new skin replacing the scabs.

The second thing I would strongly consider doing is starting her on a round of antibiotics, as injuries that large are perfect pathways for infection to enter the body.  You may be able to find tetracycline at the pet shop, rather than through a vet, so take a peek in the fish section.  Tetracycline can be mixed into the water bottle and given over the course of a couple of weeks to protect her from getting sick.  Here are instructions on mixing it, copied from one of our other expert's past answers:

"It either comes in powder, tablet, or capsule form.  If it is a tablet, you will need to crush it into fine powder, which you can do with the back of one spoon against the front of another.  If it is a capsule you will empty the powder out of the capsule.  One capsule is the same as 1/4 flat teaspoon.  Take one capsule and mix it with a drop or two of water until you have a mustardy paste. Grab the mouse by the scruff (back) of the neck to open its mouth, and try to get a bit of the paste in the mouth. The mouse will struggle a lot and this may be impossible. In any case, smear some on the whiskers and sides, where it can easily wash it off and ingest it.  Put another capsule's worth in a large water bottle (10-12 oz), or half that in a small water bottle (4-6 oz), and that should be the only source of water for about 10 days. Shake it up well. Change it every other day. Cover the bottle with tin foil so no light can get in. Tetracycline reacts with light."

Hopefully this helps!  If you have any other questions, or if she does not improve, please let me know and I will get right back to you.  My deepest apologies for being so late in this response - I have been ill.  Hopefully all is well now that she has been separated, though.

Best of luck,
-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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