You are here:

Mice/My pet mouse


One of my pet mouses is making a clicking noise and kind of hunched over I also noticed she has a strange skin growth on the outside of her stomach do you know what it could be? Please help thank you

Hi Kimberly,

Without a photo or some more information on the growth on the outside of her stomach, it isn't really possible for me to guess what might be going on there.  If you can get me a picture and write me a followup with it attached, I'd be happy to take a look!  If not, here are some questions that can help me help you figure it out:
-Does she have cage mates?  If so, do they ever fight?
-Has she had any recent injuries?
-Is the growth a lump under the skin, or part of the skin?
-Is the skin over the growth broken, scabbed, irritated, red, hot to the touch, swollen, weeping/oozing, or discolored in any way?
-Is the area around the growth red or discolored?

The clicking and hunching are both signs of illness, particularly common with upper respiratory infections (URIs), which is a catch-all term for diseases that affect the airways.  Hunching is a late symptom, and it means she needs to be treated immediately.  The very best and fastest thing you can do is get her to a veterinarian who works with pocket pets like mice for a good, targeted antibiotic that can be given in her water bottle.  Depending on the cause of the growth, it may help with that as well.

If a vet is completely impossible, you can try to give tetracycline at home, but it's much better to see a vet.  Tetracycline can be found in the fish aisle of your local pet shop, and below is instructions copied and pasted from another expert's advice on how to administer it:

"You are going to put some in her water bottle and try to get an initial dose inside her.  

If you have the capsules, empty one capsule into a large water bottle or one half into a small one.  Shake extremely well.  If you have the powder,  1/4 flat teaspoon measure is the same as 1 capsule.  If you have the tablets, completely crush them into fine powder with the back of a spoon and use as powder.   This should be her only water source.  It's fine for any other mice to drink the water too, unless they are pregnant or nursing, so it is good that you have two separate cages. Cover the water bottle with tin foil,  because the medication is sensitive to light.  They may chew on the tin foil, because some mice love it. Don't worry about that. It's great for their teeth!  Clean the bottle and change the water every few days for 10-14 days.

Next, take another capsule worth and mix it with one drop of water.  This will make a paste about the consistency of mustard.    You have plenty to play with, so if the mixture is too watery, try again.  Now pick up the mouse by the scruff of the neck.  This is the skin just behind her head.  This does not hurt her-- it's how her mama used to carry her-- but she will struggle valiantly.   Holding her gently but firmly,  quickly place a small amount, maybe 1/4 pea size, into her now open mouth.  This is hard.  Be careful of her nose!  Wipe a bit more onto her whiskers and chin.  She will ingest that when she washes herself.  If you couldn't get any inside her at all, wipe some more on her head and sides.  Put her back into her cage so she will wash herself.  Keep any other mouse from washing her, if necessary removing the other mouse for an hour."

Because URIs can be very infectious, all mice who have been exposed to her should be treated with the tetracycline (or other prescribed antibiotic).  Best of luck, and let me know if there is anything else I can do.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

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

©2017 All rights reserved.