Scratching causing wound!

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Scratching causing wound! Empty Scratching causing wound!

Post by Flower on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 7:41 am

Hello Smile

My lovely girl (just over 1 year old), Popcorn, has been scratching herself a lot recently in the same place and she's broken the skin. It's quite a large wound although not very deep. It used to be a tiny mark and now it has suddenly grown a lot bigger. I feel like it started as an irritation and it's getting progressively worse as it becomes more irritated.
I plan to clean their bedding and nest material tomorrow to avoid infection as much as possible, is this the right move?

Scratching causing wound! Img_1610

Also, she has always suffered with obesity and I'm convinced it's genetic but I don't know how relevant that is Smile
She has been treated for mites.

She's really worrying me- she looks so irritated with it.

Should I wash it with water? I have aloe vera plants and papaw ointment that I use on myself, are those an option?
And how do I stop her from scratching it?

I will take her to the vet if need be but I would love it if there were an alternative solution. The vet is 40 minutes away and she's a very nervous mouse, so I don't think she'll handle the stress well at all, even if her sister is there. The last time I took a mouse to the vet she died in the vet's hands and I wish I hadn't taken her because there was nothing the vet could do.

Thank you very much for your time <3

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 8:14 am

Definitely looks like a case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Ill wait for someone more experienced in it, like Scaredymouse, to weigh in. Ive had an OCD mouse but its been so long I forget most of the details. You probably also want to clean up the wound. Cortaid could help, its got an anti-itching formula, and its a mouse firstaid kit staple. But its probably too late for the anti-itch to help at all.

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 12:23 pm

First, keep it clean for her. As long as your water supply is reliable, and doesn't come out terribly cold at this time of year, tap water is fine for rinsing wounds. Don't rub - just rinse freely with water. You just want to clear away dirt and bacteria, not any of the healing process that may have started. If you don't trust the tap water, boil it first, cover it, and let it cool to a comfortable temperature before using it.

Also, do not rinse the wound frequently. The goo that oozes out of wounds is recognized as an important component of the healing process.

While you're drying her wet fur off, you can take the opportunity to give her a nice soothing cuddle session. Then watch her when you put her back in her house to see if she has a negative reaction, or shows apprehension to anybody or anything in there.

You might have to move her to a hospital tank to avoid wound contamination.

Keeping the wound moist is recognized as promoting healing, so that's where a mouse-safe cream or ointment comes in. It does not have to be anti-bacterial. The wound healing process is complicated, and you don't want to mess with the natural bacterial environment of the surrounding intact skin, and the pH the bacteria create to make the skin such a wonderful barrier between inside and outside.

As for her persistent aggravating on the wound, is she scratching with a foot, or chewing at it? I will try to attach a link here with important information to read concerning ulcerative dermatitis in mice: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160106215525.htm

I wish there was such a thing as a little band we could fasten around them when they get that way, that would keep the wound covered and moist, be resistant to their (or their housemates's) chewing and scratching, and would not bug them. We humans can put up with a bandage, or a back brace, or even a cast, because we know it's for the good of our recovery from an injury. But put a little mousie in a wound-protective corset, and the little thing will likely drive itself bonkers.

Finally, the hope is that you can remove or alleviate the cause of the problem. Whether it's environmental irritation, external aggravation, or internal stress or illness, treating the wound will not lead to healing if there is still something driving the scratching behavior.

Get better, little Popcorn -- and STOP THAT SCRATCHING!

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Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 5:02 pm

@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:Finally, the hope is that you can remove or alleviate the cause of the problem.  Whether it's environmental irritation, external aggravation, or internal stress or illness, treating the wound will not lead to healing if there is still something driving the scratching behavior.

Even if the cause is found and done away with, at this point the scratching is most likely obsessive compulsive, meaning that even if the cause is removed, the mouse will continue to scratch due to habit. OCD is very complicated in mice, and immensely difficult to treat. Hopefully someone more experienced with it can weigh in.

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Post by River on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 1:59 am

My Graham scratched herself bald as a younger mouse, and recently started over grooming again after the loss of her cagemate. It was never this bad, but it did eventually go away.

OCD needs to be interrupted. Go to the MES thread and make every single toy you can fit in the cage -- give her nesting material and things to do everywhere. Change the setup frequently, maybe every other day. If you have a critter keeper, you may want to keep it with you when you can so you can interrupt her scratching as it starts.

Have you ruled out an allergy of some sort? Grahams scratching originated from a wood allergy. Peanuts and sunflower seeds are also something you'll want to move towards ruling out if you haven't already. What food is she eating? Are hot spots possible?
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Post by Flower on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 11:49 pm

@River wrote:My Graham scratched herself bald as a younger mouse, and recently started over grooming again after the loss of her cagemate. It was never this bad, but it did eventually go away.

OCD needs to be interrupted. Go to the MES thread and make every single toy you can fit in the cage -- give her nesting material and things to do everywhere. Change the setup frequently, maybe every other day. If you have a critter keeper, you may want to keep it with you when you can so you can interrupt her scratching as it starts.

Have you ruled out an allergy of some sort?  Grahams scratching originated from a wood allergy. Peanuts and sunflower seeds are also something you'll want to move towards ruling out if you haven't already. What food is she eating? Are hot spots possible?

Thank you very much for your response.
I've rearranged her cage and have been making toys out of toilet paper rolls in the last couple of days, thanks for the tip.
I know it isn't peanuts but I haven't taken her off sunflower seeds before so I'll get onto that.
She's eating a seed mix which contains corn, sunflower seeds and the standard kind of grains. I also add mouse pellets.

She does have some redness and baldness around her neck so I think you're right about an allergy or maybe some other irritant in her tank. I use newspaper pellets as a bedding so I doubt that that's the cause.

Thanks again Smile

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Post by Flower on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 11:53 pm

Thank you all for your responses, I don't know how to reply to you individually or if quoting will send a notification but I have read your responses with interest and am taking all of your advice Smile

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