How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

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How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by antant26 on Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:29 pm

I've noticed my four girls don't have as much covering as they're used to. They're not balding or anything, their hair just appears to be thinner. I'm not certain if this is a problem, but if they're itching more than normal, I'm guessing there's too much crude protein in their diet (I've pretty much fixed that), an aspen bedding allergy (eliminated that factor), that they have mites, (Ivermectin, was it?) or that they have a food allergy, in which case I'll have to do an all rice diet and see which foods don't make them itch. Weasel is the odd-ball in the group as a feeder mouse, which will make calibrating diets interesting, to fit in with what the lab mice need.

I don't want something small to escalate to an entire OCD barbering issue, so that's why I'm asking. It's not as bad as my first mouse Salem, who was allergic to bedding and got mites, to the point where he had to stop in the middle of eating to scratch behind his ear, so if I do have a problem I hope I caught it early.

Any input? Thanks everyone!

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Re: How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by Peachy on Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:08 pm

I've never timed it, but scratching is fairly normal. You have to decide if it's excessive.

We recommend treating for mites as a precaution, whether they're itchy or not. What are you feeding? If they all have thin/greasy hair, I would be more inclined to treat for parasites than think allergies. I would start there.

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Re: How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by antant26 on Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks so much! Is the horse formula okay for them, or should I get the one for cattle?

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Re: How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by Peachy on Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:30 pm

The correct product is a Cattle Pour-On with a concentration of 5mg ivermectin per mL. You can purchase it at a farm supply/tractor store or online, often for under $20. Here is a link to a product used by many of our members here: Amazon's Durvet Pour-On Ivermectin


It is very important to follow these directions when diluting the ivermectin. The correct dosage is 1 part ivermectin to 5 parts water. For example: Measure one teaspoon of ivermectin (5 ml) and then add 5 teaspoons of water (25 ml). The ivermectin will begin separating quickly, so you must shake well and shake often! The mixed ivermectin is stable at room temperature for 6 months, just be sure to shake very well before using again.


To treat the mouse, simply place one drop of the diluted ivermectin in between the shoulder blades, then use your fingertip to smear it down their back. You should use a syringe to do this to make sure you are giving the correct dose. One drop is approximately 0.01 ml (0.01). If you get too much on the mouse, try to wipe off the excess. Try to keep the mouse occupied for about 10 minutes to prevent the mouse from trying to lick off the medication, so that the medication has a chance to soak into the skin. Treat the mouse once every 7 days for 3 weeks, cleaning the cage as described below before each treatment. After completing the 3 week course of ivermectin, discontinue the treatment for 2 weeks. After those 2 weeks have passed, repeat the treatment protocol once every 7 days for another 3 weeks.


In addition to treating the mouse, it's important to treat their environment. Thoroughly clean their tank and throw away any disposable items like toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, or cardboard. Plastic and ceramic items should be washed well. Wood items can be treated by using your diluted ivermectin to spray them. You should also lightly spray the fresh bedding and the mesh lid. This prevents any bugs from escaping, you want them trapped in there with the medicine. Make sure to let these items dry completely before putting your mouse back into the tank. There is no need to bleach the tanks or throw away all the toys.  Lice and mites are host specific, so you don’t have to worry about catching them.

This treatment has been used in female colonies that love to groom each other. No ill side effects were seen from them ingesting the spray on the backs of other mice. In addition, labs use this on pinkies with no ill side effects. It is safe for all ages of mice.

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Re: How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by antant26 on Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:44 pm

The item on Amazon doesn't quite match the picture. Is it still the right one?

Thank you so much! Smile

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Re: How frequently are mice supposed to itch per hour?

Post by Peachy on Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:01 pm

It is the right one, they just changed it after I added the picture. lol Will have to get a new one someday.

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