PLEASE HELP! Self mutilation or mites?

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PLEASE HELP!  Self mutilation or mites? Empty PLEASE HELP! Self mutilation or mites?

Post by Animallover562 on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 9:11 pm

Hi! I have a male mouse named Oreo, he lives on his own but I’m always giving him new toys and enrichment. He currently is on about 1/4 aspen (separate) and the rest is kaytee clean and cozy. Recently I’ve noticed that he’s been itching and excessively grooming but I didn’t really think anything of it.
 Now I’m really worried because tonight I realized that he has a small bald spot on his side, one on the top of his head, and his right ear is scratched raw! I love this mouse so much so automatically I freaked out and started researching. I’m not sure if this could be mites or just self multilation but I want to figure out what the issue is so he can get treatment.
  Unfortunately I’m very short on money right now but if it sounds like something serious I will take him to the vet but please let me know if there are any at home treatments I can try. Also I have a bin with 3 females and a tank with a hamster both in the same room as him. If it is mites, is it easy to spread? Right now all the other animals are doing great with no signs of mites.
   I would appreciate and answers whatsoever! Thank you for your help❤️


Last edited by Animallover562 on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Change title)
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PLEASE HELP!  Self mutilation or mites? Empty Re: PLEASE HELP! Self mutilation or mites?

Post by MouseLover on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 6:05 am

Mites can spread, and it's important to keep that in mind when handling your animals. But just because your other animals appear to be fine, it doesn't mean that he doesn't have mites. So personally I would treat for mites, just so that you can rule it out.

In the UK I know you can buy small animal spot-ons for parasite treatment in most pet stores, or even online, without having to see a vet. If you're in the US you can buy pour-on ivermectin (link) BUT you'd need to know how to get the dosage and dilution right. It would probably be best just to see a vet as they will be able to prepare the right dosage for you.

Option two... I've never tried this myself, so I can't vouch for how effective it is. But if going to a vet is absolutely out of the question, I've heard that if you put olive oil on your mouse's fur that it suffocates mites. Apparently you put a line of it down the mouse's back and rub it down the sides, especially focusing on any bad patches and on the back of the neck. Try not to get any in the mouse's ears or on their face. You apparently should do this every 4 days for 3 weeks, to make sure the mites are fully gone. Olive oil is non-toxic, it won't hurt your mouse, even if they lick it off, but he will not like it and he will look really greasy. It may make him feel colder (because he's wet) so maybe try and keep the room a bit warmer on the days that you do this. It's a lot simpler to just see a vet and treat with ivermectin (probably more effective too), so I'd really leave trying this as a last resort if you cannot see a vet.

After treating for mites you'd also need to deep-clean everything in the cage, in case there are mites eggs anywhere. Fleece items can be hot-washed, wooden items would probably have to be boiled, and everything else wiped down with pet-safe disinfectant.

If you've treated for mites and you've not seen any improvement, there are a couple more possibilities that you can try to rule out before concluding that he's self-mutilating. One is that he could have an allergy to something in his cage, the most likely thing being the aspen. Most mice get on fine with aspen but there are some that will have issues with it. The second consideration is his diet, as he could have an intolerance or allergy going on. You may want to look at the ingredients and the protein percentage, making sure protein is below 14% and maybe pick out anything like peanuts or other common mouse allergens.

I hope the little guy is feeling less itchy soon!

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