First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

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First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

Post by GML001 on Mon 14 May 2018, 2:03 pm

Hello!

I'm not so new to rodents (on my second round of rats, about to (hopefully) rescue another... If this big boy comes, all of my not-feeder-rescues have been albino!), but very new to mice! My mom teaches at a high school, and the lunch ladies found an albino mouse in the cafeteria. Now, again, I've never had a mouse, never really wanted one, but common sense and half a semester of BIO 101 tells me that semi-friendly albino mice do not occur very often in nature (this little dude lets you actually touch him—the field mouse they caught in the art room two years ago never would have let that happen). So we came to the conclusion that this was either a senior prank, or a kid brought their pet mouse to school and he escaped.

At first, my mom's coworker was going to take him, he was going to be the class pet, I guess, but I got a text from my mom about an hour ago asking if I'd take him... How could I say no? I have a cage I use for baby rats, which he will be downgraded from as soon as possible (I've read 1/2 spacing is okay, but I'd rather go to 1/4—and the spacing between the tray that slides in and the actual cage concerns me... he might actually have to live in my carrier cage for a few days Sad ) I have a vet appointment set for next week for a general health checkup, and just found out that his swollen cheek was not actually a result of stuffing popcorn in his mouth, but probably inflamed from a little cut that my mom's coworker says isn't getting any better.

As a horse person, my gut instinct is ALWAYS neosporin but I know this isn't very realistic for rodents (my go-to for rats is generally baby aspirin if the vet isn't available. After my first rat got pneumonia (lived a year longer than their estimated night!) at any sign of ANYTHING wrong I'm at the vet within 24 hours—so long story short, is there something safe I can put on it to stave off an infection or help inflammation until I can get to my vet? I'm not sure about dosage or safety of baby aspirin for something as small as a mouse...

(Also, any tips for mouse care would be welcome! While we obviously can't be 100% sure if this is a pet/feeder mouse, I strongly suspect that he is... alllllso, my mom has reported that he STINKS. I'm barely comfortable giving my ratties baths—and they're HUGE—so is there a way to clean mice without an intense and stressful handling session?)

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Re: First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

Post by Jadamouse on Mon 14 May 2018, 11:04 pm

honestly i have no idea what any medications or creams or anything could use, however you could possibly try rinsing the wound with some saline water, as keeping it clean can make a big difference. you could also call your vet to see if you can change your appointment day as they might have an open spot earlier. well done for rescuing him!

also fun fact, i am a horse person too! Wink


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Re: First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

Post by GML001 on Tue 15 May 2018, 12:22 am

@Jadamouse wrote:honestly i have no idea what any medications or creams or anything could use, however you could possibly try rinsing the wound with some saline water, as keeping it clean can make a big difference. you could also call your vet to see if you can change your appointment day as they might have an open spot earlier.  well done for rescuing him!

also fun fact, i am a horse person too!  Wink


Unfortunately Monday is the earliest I can get in Sad My vet is on vacation, so I have an appointment first thing Monday morning (and they're the only clinic even remotely near me that sees small animals) But I just got him (HOPEFULLY him... ) and I'm so... confused by this wound... Or at least, worried about how it happened.

I JUST got a semi-good look at it and honestly he looks like he got a pretty big bite... It kind of looks like a bite my rat got between his shoulders. Mini Me's cheek is definitely scabbed over pretty thickly (he was found last week and I was told it's been the same—not worse, but not better) and the swelling isn't disfiguring, just makes him look like he has a chubby cheek. I'm really hoping it's just caused by the trauma and not filled with anything nasty... He doesn't seem bothered by it, though. He's actually one of the healthiest mice I've seen come out of a petco. Very active and curious, bright eyed and clean and fluffy.

But thank you for your response! I'll definitely try rinsing it, and hopefully the swelling will go down soon—hand taming will have to start tomorrow!

(I wonder if horses and rats go hand in hand for some people... Both seem to need vets every 6 months... I'm not gonna lie, my various vets probably love me. ESPECIALLY my pocket pet vets—I'm running ready to throw money at them at the first sign of porphyrin Laughing Although, my most embarrassing vet call cost me seventy bucks just for my vet to tell me my horse needed sunblock...)

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Re: First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

Post by CallaLily on Tue 15 May 2018, 7:42 am

I don’t have any advice on the wound - good you’ve made a vet appt, even if it’s a bit of a wait - but I’m glad you were able to help this little guy out.  Neosporin is safe for use with mice. There’s a little more info on that here in the Health Packet.

Bathing mice is generally a no-no because they can get too cold too quickly. Is the smell just typical boy smell or something he got into? Males tend to have a stronger odor and will mark their territory. There’s tips for male odor here.

1/2 inch bar spacing is too big. 1/4 inch is best, 3/8 inch may be ok for an adult mouse.  You could try covering the cage with appropriately sized metal hardware cloth. Just be careful with sharp edges. Not sure what to do about the tray though.

I know aquariums/terrariums are frowned on with rats but they make great, very secure homes for mice. Just be sure to use a metal mesh reptile lid to allow for ventilation and prevent escapes.  Some terrariums have side ventilation too, if you’re extra worried about that.

Good luck with the little guy.

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Re: First time mouse owner—a rescue with a little cut on a swollen cheek!

Post by GML001 on Tue 15 May 2018, 5:04 pm

@CallaLily wrote:I don’t have any advice on the wound - good you’ve made a vet appt, even if it’s a bit of a wait - but I’m glad you were able to help this little guy out.  Neosporin is safe for use with mice. There’s a little more info on that here in the Health Packet.

Bathing mice is generally a no-no because they can get too cold too quickly.  Is the smell just typical boy smell or something he got into?  Males tend to have a stronger odor and will mark their territory. There’s tips for male odor here.

1/2 inch bar spacing is too big. 1/4 inch is best, 3/8 inch may be ok for an adult mouse.  You could try covering the cage with appropriately sized metal hardware cloth. Just be careful with sharp edges. Not sure what to do about the tray though.

I know aquariums/terrariums are frowned on with rats but they make great, very secure homes for mice. Just be sure to use a metal mesh reptile lid to allow for ventilation and prevent escapes.  Some terrariums have side ventilation too, if you’re extra worried about that.

Good luck with the little guy.

I'll look into the neosporin! I always have a ton on hand. It's just the application of anything I'll need to work on (he's so small! At least the lump takes up some space—it'd be hard to miss lol)

I really have no idea if it was a normal male odor (really... potent... fishy kind of smell?), but as soon as I moved him to his new cage (A little crittertrail "run-about" I plan to expand on next paycheck) and out of the tank, the smell isn't noticeable at all! I think the ventilation and better bedding helped a lot. I can get up close and personal and hardly smell a thing.

Fortunately he seems pretty healthy and nothing is screaming emergency. From what I've seen, he's not even scratching at the cut—I found a little wound article and I'm thinking it's probably an abscess from a bite... Which might mean antibiotics (my favorite Worry ) and/or draining...

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