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Long nails and scratched face, need help!

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Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by jess32247 on Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:55 pm

Hi everyone, I noticed a problem with one of my girls last night and now she has me worried. First being that two of her nails are very very long, like long enough for them to curl all the way around. Her two inside nails on her back feet look like a Q they're so bad. But it's only those two, the rest are totally fine. I couldnt get a very clear picture but I'll attach one anyway. Has anyone had problems with this before?

The second problem is that her face is scratched up, or maybe its missing fur? It doesnt look scabby or irritated. I have no idea what could be wrong. In the picture shes squinting because I had to wake her up (note the mouse pile shes on top of)<3

Out of all seven of my mice, two of them are very skittish and scared... shes probably the worse of the two. Before I do anything I'll wait to get some advice from you guys so shes as little stressed as possible.



[url=https://servimg.com/view/19544990/18][/url

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by CallaLily on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:16 pm

I think it was @stephlisa who had a mouse with one or two nails that never would naturally wear down.  You could choose to go to the vet to keep them trimmed or you could trim them yourself if you're comfortable with it.  But most of the time giving them a rough place to climb on (like a clean rock or brick) takes care of long nails.  Usually under the water bottle is best because then you know they will for sure climb on it.

I'm not sure about the fur. What are you feeding?  Bedding?  Have you treated for mites/lice before?  Is she scratching a lot?  Is it possible her buddies over groom her?

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by stephlisa on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:31 am

Hiya,
Yep, sounds exactly like the nail problem Colin had. Unfortunately there reached a point where they were just too long to allow him to wear them down so we had to go to the vets for a trim (because I wasn't going to try doing it myself!). It probably isn't hurting her, hut it will make it more awkward for her to get around.

Your mouse's nails sound like they are at that point. Once they are trimmed then some rough surfaces in the cage should help keep them down. This toy block was particularly good for Colin's - http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/guinea-pig/guinea-pig-toys/small-animal-play-block - you might be able to find something similar in shops near you, but, as CallaLilly says, a rock or a brick, we used sandpaper at one point too.

If you want to do it yourself, use proper small animal claw scissors, or I remember someone used a small nail clipper (the kind a lot of humans use!). Just be careful not to cut the 'quick' which is a blood vessel in the nail - have a little flour nearby to help stem the flow in case you do cut it as it is like a human head wound (bleeds a lot but isn't too problematic).
I'd also recommend grabbing a friend or family member to help hold the mouse as she's skittish (or you hold and someone else cuts). Also try distracting her with treats so she's still for a moment and you can sneak in a grab her foot and cut.

My vet was awesome and had nail trimming totally free, even for awkward to trim animals like mice, you might find your vet has reduced rates or similar, but you'd have to find out.

Hope that helps with the nails!

As for the patchy fur, I'm not sure I can help you there. But it does look like what my vet called a barbering patch - is it possible the others over grooming her?

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by jess32247 on Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Thanks for the advice you two! Sorry about the slow reply. I put a couple rocks in there cage and a nice rough toy under both there water bottles and in spots she always goes too. Before I do anything else I'll give her some time and see how that works because I really want to avoid trimming her nails. If I get to that point what would be the best way to hold her while trimming? I'm almost certain she'll nip and bite. My poor baby Sad

If I can't get her nails short myself I'll call around and see what it will cost to have a vet do it but I have a feeling they'll charge way too much just to see her. Hopefully it doesnt come to that!

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by jess32247 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:56 pm

I thought things were getting better but it's been going down hill. I really have no idea what's going on with her. The side of her face is really scratched up and sore. Is there anything I can do for her? I'm honestly not sure if I can afford to take her to the vet at this point but I feel like she needs to be checked out. badly. :/ Is there anything I can try before taking her to the vet?

As far as I can tell her nails arent as bad as before, I think one side has filed itself down almost back to normal and the other side is slowly but surely getting back to normal too.

https://imgur.com/a/9np2e

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by Rodents rock! on Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:42 pm

Aww, poor girl. I don't have any experience with this, but hopefully some other people on the forum will be able to help you. Do you have a vet that maybe you could arrange to make payments to, instead of paying everything up front?
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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by stephlisa on Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:22 am

Poor girl. I'm glad her nails are sorting out.

She doesn't look great in that picture.  Is there a possibility that one of her cage mates might have done it in a scuffle?  Have you treated them for lice/mites that might be causing itchiness?  Have you checked for allergies yet - bedding, food...?
Edit to add: have look at this page for more info on possible causes: https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t17-itching-hair-loss-and-parasites

At this point I definitely recommend a vet visit.  And keep an eye on the wound you don't want it becoming infected - there's a health post somewhere with things you can do I think.  I'll come back and edit my post when I've found it!
This page as a little bit of info in the top 'emergency supplies' section about things to help with the wound: https://www.petmousefanciers.com/t25-health-packet

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by jess32247 on Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:23 pm

Thank you for the links! That's very helpful. I really want to take her to the vet but my boyfriend and I are very tight on money right now. I'll talk to him more about it when he gets home but I'm thinking of calling the vet to see if they have a payment plan option.

I'm almost certain its not from the other mice in the cage over grooming her, but she could very well be doing it all herself. If she had mites or lice wouldn't it effect the three other girls in the cage? Everyone else, including my two other cages, seem to be doing fine and showing no symptoms of bugs.

She's been on the same food since I've gotten her but I think I've read that they can still develop allergies to something? Should I separate her and see if I can figure out if its an allergy?

I'll start taking care of her wounds (I'm crossing my fingers she'll let me even get close to her) with nerosporin once or twice a day and see if that makes any difference.

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by Rodents rock! on Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:00 pm

I don't recommend separating her from her sisters, that would cause her stress. Keep us posted. Hope all will be ok. Smile

If you have any wood in their enclosure, you might want to clean out their enclosure and remove any wood. My mouse has an allergy to wood. So I just use things that are either plastic or ceramic. May be worth a try.
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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by jess32247 on Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:35 pm

Poor baby let me take her out of the cage and put some Neosporin on her wound. I hope she knows I'm trying to help, because otherwise I feel like she would of never tolerated it.

As soon as I put it on and wiped off the extra she spent the next 15 minutes cleaning her face and getting as much off as she can. Is this going to irritate it more or does the Neosporin still have a chance to soak in a little bit?

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Re: Long nails and scratched face, need help!

Post by Peachy on Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:24 pm

Oh no, sorry you and your poor girl are going through this. In my experience (with multiple OCD mice, ugh), Neosporin and other topical creams can sometimes cause them to mess with wounds more often than if left alone. If it's scabbed you can let it be, otherwise I would only wipe it off/dab at it with a cool, wet rag. The coolness can be comfortable and help with itchiness. Often they mess with wounds simply because they're bothering them.

Your mice could definitely have mites even if only one is showing symptoms. Mites are so common that we recommend treating every mouse you bring home as a precaution, and the Ivermectin treatment also acts as a preventative. It would be worth a try before things get worse.

I have a girl that's been scratching her face in the same spot as yours since I brought her home from the shelter. She's been treated for mites and visited a vet multiple times, at this point I do what I can to discourage her and hope for the best. It comes and goes, bad and good, but she's still happy and that's the important part. Smile

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