Mouse skin problem?

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Mouse skin problem?

Post by Asdfghjkl on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 4:59 pm

I got my mice from a previous owner. I know nothing about their past or their age apart from the fact they are all males. I started with 3 but one sadly passed. The other two are now separated as their fighting was injuring each other. One mouse has something wrong with its skin. An area of skin on the bottom half of its back has lifted away. From a far it looked like a flake of food in its fur but when I looked closer it was the edge of the area of skin lifting away. When I have felt this skin it feels quite thick. The skin still has all fur intact, and it is still close to the body so I am unable to look underneath. The mouse is walking fine, eating and drinking and seems healthy overall. It doesn’t show any signs of pain or distress when I handle it, making me think it isn’t in pain. There are no sharp objects or damage to the cage that could have caused the skin lesion. And there is no blood in the cage. I have no idea what it is or what has caused it. Can someone help or give any advice? Thanks

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by Peachy on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 6:05 pm

Is it like an open wound, or more like a wart? Could you get a picture?

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 6:16 pm

Let's see ... this is a flap of skin then, deep enough to carry all the hair follicles with it? wow. Some photos might help, but I will not have computer access for much longer tonight. What size is the flap? Is there oozing from the edges or is the wound dry? Is it still conforming to the body contour, or are the edges peeling up? Was the wound present when you got the mouse? Did you notice it before separating the boys, or did it occur in isolation? Those questions are aimed at trying to determine possible origins of the wound, how long it may have been there, and if the wound is healing itself.

Can you tell if there is any swelling or warmer feel to the skin around the wound? Because of the danger of infection in deep tissue wounds, and because of the tendency of mice (and most other animals that can) to scratch or chew at their wounds, I would take this little guy to a veterinarian for an assessment. The wound may need cleaning, some antibiotics may be necessary, and perhaps you can get some advice on how to proceed with home care. Even if the wound is clean, and healing is going smoothly, just those little tightenings and tuggings that go on in the tissues as they generate new skin can drive a little mousie to chew on it, and chew, and chew, and chew ... and make a little problem into a big problem and then into a bigger problem. (From your description, it does not sound like scratching would be a concern at this point.)

When a larger animal experiences something like this, it might be possible to stitch the skin back into place, or apply a dermal adhesive ("liquid stitches"), or to excise unviable tissue and then use procedures for open wound management. Then the subject animal gets to wear the "cone of shame" to prevent chewing on the repair work. This is obviously not a very realistic option for a mouse, so you should find a vet with small mammal / pocket pet expertise.

One more thing to consider: If you happen to live within a reasonable distance of a veterinary school with a working animal hospital, it seems that might be a good place to take a mouse with a potentially complicated skin wound. They might be more willing to take on the exploratory and experimental aspects of treatment, as part of the research and learning experience. It might not work out, but it's worth a try. I once lived in a neighborhood around a university that had a dental school on the campus, and practically all the folks around knew to make their dentist appointments at the school because everything was faculty-supervised ... and it was a LOT CHEAPER than other options!

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by Asdfghjkl on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 6:22 pm

@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:Let's see ... this is a flap of skin then, deep enough to carry all the hair follicles with it?  wow.  Some photos might help, but I will not have computer access for much longer tonight.  What size is the flap?  Is there oozing from the edges or is the wound dry?  Is it still conforming to the body contour, or are the edges peeling up?  Was the wound present when you got the mouse?  Did you notice it before separating the boys, or did it occur in isolation?  Those questions are aimed at trying to determine possible origins of the wound, how long it may have been there, and if the wound is healing itself.

Can you tell if there is any swelling or warmer feel to the skin around the wound?  Because of the danger of infection in deep tissue wounds, and because of the tendency of mice (and most other animals that can) to scratch or chew at their wounds, I would take this little guy to a veterinarian for an assessment.  The wound may need cleaning, some antibiotics may be necessary, and perhaps you can get some advice on how to proceed with home care.  Even if the wound is clean, and healing is going smoothly, just those little tightenings and tuggings that go on in the tissues as they generate new skin can drive a little mousie to chew on it, and chew, and chew, and chew ... and make a little problem into a big problem and then into a bigger problem.  (From your description, it does not sound like scratching would be a concern at this point.)

When a larger animal experiences something like this, it might be possible to stitch the skin back into place, or apply a dermal adhesive ("liquid stitches"), or to excise unviable tissue and then use procedures for open wound management.  Then the subject animal gets to wear the "cone of shame" to prevent chewing on the repair work.   This is obviously not a very realistic option for a mouse, so you should find a vet with small mammal / pocket pet expertise.

One more thing to consider:  If you happen to live within a reasonable distance of a veterinary school with a working animal hospital, it seems that might be a good place to take a mouse with a potentially complicated skin wound.  They might be more willing to take on the exploratory and experimental aspects of treatment, as part of the research and learning experience.  It might not work out, but it's worth a try.  I once lived in a neighborhood around a university that had a dental school on the campus, and practically all the folks around knew to make their dentist appointments at the school because everything was faculty-supervised ... and it was a LOT CHEAPER than other options!



The edges are dry, it forms to the body contour and the wound has only appeared in the past 48 hours at the most. I have no idea how this has happened as it has been isolated for a while, shows normal behaviour and is eating fine.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 7:06 pm

Without some pictures, it is difficult to make any further guesses. For now, if little Rollo (or whatever his name is) is eating and playing normally, just monitor what's going on with the wound site. Rollo will not tell you he does not feel good -- in fact, he will usually do anything he can to avoid letting you know that. So you will have to visually inspect the wound for oozing or bleeding or gapping that could admit bacteria, compare the temperature of the skin around the wound to the temperature in the analogous part of the anatomy on Rollo's former roommate to make sure it is not becoming overly inflamed (warmer than what seems normal), and sniff for the smell of infection. Also watch for how Rollo is treating the wound: you do not want him to chew a chunk of skin off and make a mess of things. If you suspect infection, it is time for the doctor.

If healing around the edge seems to be progressing, but the skin flap has not reattached to the underlying tissue, it will eventually come off through the skin's normal renewal processes -- think of how it happens in your own experience. Rollo will probably find it to be an irresistible chew toy, which is fine if he just trims it off but there is the risk then that he will tear into viable skin. So be prepared.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by Asdfghjkl on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 12:11 pm







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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:23 pm

Oof. Honestly I would take her to a vet. A vet could probably advise on how to best heal the wound or at least make sure it doesn't get infected.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:49 pm

Goodness, what a gouge! That HAD to hurt -- and maybe it still does.

If there is still moistness to those wound surfaces (including under the flap), do indeed take mousie to the doctor. A small animal practitioner should be able to clean that out (however much is necessary) and close it up with no trouble, and probably prescribe an antibiotic just to avoid a systemic infection.

If the whole ouchie has dried out, then it is healing on its own (although not optimally) and I don't know if a vet would want to debride (remove the dried surfaces) just to seal the moist wound shut. The advice might just be to let it continue what it's doing, again probably with some antibiotics.

Either way, I suggest taking the little guy to a doctor to make sure the wound is clean, that any infection is under control, and that the prognosis for healing is positive. BUT -- be sure to let the doctor know, if the doctor does not specifically address the situation, that you are concerned about mousie becoming focused on the wound and starting to bite and pick at it. There ARE tiny cones of shame for mice, but the way they like to tunnel around and negotiate tight squeezes, I'd be afraid of a mouse injuring itself because it was wearing one.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 6:01 pm

E-collars definitely don't work on mice. The shape of their body just doesn't allow it, and putting a mouse in it would probably traumatize them and do more damage than the collar can balance out.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by Asdfghjkl on Fri 05 Jan 2018, 2:40 am

Thank you everyone. I noticed for a while the mouse often got stuck between levels in the cage. The other mice were fine apart from this one but I always thought it was a bit too excited or culmsy. Underneath the skin there seems to be some kind of lumps. I’ve had them for nearly a year and I know they are prone to tumours at this time of their life. I think he has been getting stuck because of this lump, and he’s jusy caught it in the cage.

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Re: Mouse skin problem?

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri 05 Jan 2018, 11:31 am

If she has lumps, definitely get her to a vet immediately. That cannot wait.

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