Help, please! Should I have my mouse put down????

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Help, please! Should I have my mouse put down????

Post by olliethemouse on Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:17 am

About 4 weeks ago my mouse started scratching his ear, and the back of his neck. It got really bad to where that was all he was doing. We took him to the vet, and they gave him some cream, and we tried putting that on him, but he'd always just scratch more after we put it on him, I guess because it was cold and it irritated him. He's scratched an entire part of his ear off. We took him back again and the vet gave him an allergy shot. He said if that didn't help to bring him back the next day nad have him put to sleep. Well, he stopped digging so much for a few days. Then about 3, maybe 4 days later, he started just sleeping and stopped playing. He still eats and drinks and he still scratches a little. He looks pretty rough. His ear is flaming red. And now today he's started running on his wheel. My question is, should I Have him put down? I don't want to keep delaying it, but if it sounds like he doesn't need to be put down, I don't want to do it.

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Re: Help, please! Should I have my mouse put down????

Post by CallaLily on Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:02 am

I'm so sorry to hear your mouse is hurting himself. Hopefully one of the other members with more experience with OCD scratching chimes in with some advice because there are things you can do to try to break the habit - which pretty much involves distracting him and keeping him busy. In the meantime, there's a little bit of info on chronic scratching here, if you haven't already seen it.

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Re: Help, please! Should I have my mouse put down????

Post by sweetlings on Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:10 pm

I've never had a mouse develop full blown OCD scratching, so I'm definitely no authority here but thought my girl's experience with scratching might help -

My little McNeil was treated for mites a few weeks ago, and after the mites were gone, the vet was concerned about the scratching becoming a habit (she'd worn down the fur on the entire front of her face and top of her head, and was red raw). Along with the mite medicine, I also had to apply an antihistamine ointment after the vet gave a shot (Sounds like the allergy shot you got for your boy). This stopped her wanting to scratch so much, but she kind of didn't know what to do with herself. It was only after I continued with the ointment, and introduced loads of puzzles, shredding toys, new nesting material and hidden treats in her cage that she was distracted enough to get better.

Maybe this is the case with your boy? Running on the wheel sounds like a good sign to me!

I'm so sorry he's feeling poorly - hopefully you'll find the information you need!
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Re: Help, please! Should I have my mouse put down????

Post by Peachy on Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:35 pm

I personally wouldn't have him put to sleep yet. One of my OCD boys scratched off his entire ear before he was a year old. It took him about five months. He looked so irritated and awful that we did consider having him put to sleep, but now he's 28 months old and still doing great! Once his ear was gone, it took him a few days to stop scratching his neck/shoulder, and every thing healed great. I've heard similar stories from other mouse owners.

Sometimes putting stuff on it just makes it feel even worse. They like to clean themselves and don't always understand that it will help in the long run. I would give him a break from that, maybe try dabbing at it with a cool cloth. He might find it soothing to relax in/against a ceramic hide out of the freezer or a frozen water bottle up against the glass.

It's also important to offer him other things to do to help him break the habit. Toys and lots of out of cage time and attention. Shake things up often, toys, arrangements and routines. Helping OCD mice recover is hard work, and not always successful, but definitely worth it! This thread has a few other stories of OCD and toy ideas.
https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t534-tips-for-an-ocd-mouse

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