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Question
My mouse has a swollen right jaw. He is an amazing 4 years & 6 months old. To touch the lump makes him squeal so it is painful. I just noticed it tonight. He is still eating. He has slowed down I assume because of his age. He is also scratching a lot. Please advise.

Answer
Hi Ginger,

WOW!  You must be doing something right to have a mouse that old!  Way to go!  :)

It's possible that he could have anything from a dental abscess to a dislocated jaw joint, or something else (e.g. unrelated abscess, tumor growth, etc.) so it might be best if possible to have his jaw looked at by a veterinarian if at all possible.  A sore jaw is going to make eating difficult, and if he isn't eating/drinking, giving him medication could become challenging.  Seeing a vet to make sure he gets the correct treatment first is the fastest way to fix his sore jaw.

Is he scratching at the lump itself, or in general?  The slowing down could be related to his recent discomfort, or even just old man joints.  If a vet is not possible whatsoever, I would suggest getting him on an over the counter antibiotic like tetracycline, but that isn't likely to fix the problem, just protect him from getting sicker from other things until it is resolved.  Please let me know how it goes and if you can see a professional or not, and I'll give whatever help I can.  Best of luck to you both!

-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/

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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