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Post by JustGinger on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 7:09 am


Hi! We’re having mice issues, multiple, and we’re new to mousing so what may seem obvious to you may not be so obvious to us... any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance...
Here is some background... a little over a year ago, we rescued a mouse from some people who were going to throw her outside. 😡 We call her, “Mz. Mouse”.

We spoiled her rotten with love and attention and the best cages but she started acting really lethargic and she wouldn’t play as much... my boyfriend is a veterinarian but he doesn’t have any experience with mice...
the more we researched the more we realized Mz. Mouse needed friends...

I found this man on Craigslist who has a bunch of fancy mice because he started with a couple and really loved them but a couple turned into 50 and now he wants to find them all homes... they’re after all, his pets.... so, in an effort to help him and to cheer Mz. Mouse up, we rescued four other mice.

Well, about two weeks ago one of the mice gave birth to five babies... we didn’t even suspect she was pregnant until three weeks after we got her.

So, the first issue: One of the babies is severely neglected and has even been dragged out of the nest while the others are thriving... I moved all of them to a new spot together and so far the little runt hasn’t been thrown out again but is there anything else we can do? The runt looks like a pinkie while the others look like mice with fur and bulk.

The second issue is that one of the rescues has some horrible infection and she’s practically scratching off her ears and her nose seems raw to me. The Merck veterinary manual describes several mice illnesses but nothing that seems the likely cause. If she had ear mites, wouldn’t we have noticed sooner? Wouldn’t the other mice also have them?

Again, thank you so much for any input, advice, guidance...

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Post by Honey102019 on Thu 16 Apr 2020, 2:45 am

Hi and welcome!

I ended up with 4 "oops" litters.  Three were the pet store's fault.  One was my fault for not making sure a screen was secure.  Either way, I made it through them all and managed to rehome some and kept the rest.

The Breeding Packet from the Genetics and Reproductive section is wonderful and should help you with all your questions...

Breeding Packet

The baby that was being kicked out was probably a runt or peanut.  It's been a while since you posted this so I hope it worked out.  But, if not, know that runts and peanuts don't usually live long. It's sad but it happens sometimes.

If it ever happens again, I would try to get another female adult to foster it or hand feed it kitten formula.  Of course that's a huge labor of love and takes 2 people to do it or a lot of lost sleep.  There is a whole section in the packet above dedicated to orphaned mice and fostering.

As for the itching problem...  
If her ears are bleeding and she's scratching her face more so than the back of her neck, my guess is a food allergy.  

My boy Toby was scratching for 4 months while my vet and I tried to figure out why.
We tried Revolution, diluted Children's Benadryl (based on weight), steroids, another round of Revolution...nothing helped.

I finally just fed him an elimination diet.  I started with cooked white rice for 3 days.  I noticed a difference right away.  It took over a week to add back most of his diet. In the end it was sunflower seeds and peanuts.  The most common food allergies for mice is sunflower seeds, peanuts, corn, wheat, pumpkin seeds, and soy.

If you are going to try an elimination diet, you can't keep her with the nursing mom.  The nursing mom needs the fortified pellet and additional protein like cooked eggs, chicken, steak, Greek yogurt, bacon (my girls loved bacon).

Move her to a separate habitat until it's over.  You can give her a few cage mates so she's not alone.  The diet won't hurt them.  They should be back on their pellet on day 4 anyway.  Just make sure you start with a clean habitat with no food stashes.  

To keep it interesting, I also fed him Rice Krispies, puffed rice, Aldi brand toddler rice based teething treats (strawberry and apple), rice blends with wild, red and brown rice, and Aldi brand toddler rice veggie puffs (like Cheetos).  After 3 days, I added his pellet, Supreme Selectives Rat and Mouse.  I kept adding things every 3 days until the symptoms came back.

I added his pellet back first.  Then all the grains from his seed mix except wheat.  I saved wheat, peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds for last.  I found it was sunflower seeds and peanuts.  I remove them from his diet and he is doing much better.

It can also be too much protein in the diet.  Your husband may be familiar with hot spots in dogs.  This is the same thing.  Mice are sensitive to protein.  Read the Mouse Diet packet in the Mouse Nutrition section.

You can treat her for mites on your own.  Your husband should be able to get Revolution for her and look up the dosing.  I think my vet gives .01 ml of Revolution (like one tiny drop) and repeats after 2 weeks.  But, I don't know if it's diluted.  

You can buy Ivermectin online.  The packet below shares where you can get it and what kind to buy.  The packet also addresses other issues like food and bedding allergies...

Itching, Hair Loss and Parasites

I don't remember if this is listed, but my vet suggested cool water baths to soothe itchy skin.  Obviously, dry her afterwards.  Wrap her in a dry towel and hold her close for 20 minutes or until dry.

Sometimes applying things like hydrocortizone or antibiotic creams with praxomine HCl (Neosporin plus Pain Relief) can help. Sometimes it can make them itch more. Just the sensation of anything on their skin can trigger itching.  It can become a habit. If you apply anything to her inflamed skin, watch her for a while. If she starts to excessively groom the area, wipe it off with a cool damp cloth.

I hope this helps and I hope your mice are feeling better soon. Smile
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Post by JustGinger on Thu 16 Apr 2020, 8:14 am

OMG! You are heaven sent! The little baby mouse ended up getting eaten, probably by the mama... I cried like a baby but understand nature taking its course... as far as our “infected” mouse is concerned, we’ve tried everything but an elimination diet. We cultured her wounds and even injected her with steroids and antibiotics... which seem to have helped a bit but I think no matter what we do, the scarring is for life. We spent countless hours researching every journal we could find and the consensus, at least for now is that the problem is likely a genetic, neurological condition. From what we’ve learned, some mice, dark mice in particular, are prone to this genetic/hereditary issue that causes incessant scratching that cannot be controlled. According to our research, the only way to remove it from the mouses bloodline is to stop breeding any mouse in his/her family.... we also read about the elimination diet but haven’t attempted it yet because we were concerned about isolating her. I tried to one time, I put her and one other mouse together but they slept separately and I just couldn’t stand seeing them sleeping alone... we also were concerned about separating mice who help the mamas raise the babies from mice who may have been or might be pregnant. I know I’m rambling, I hope the message that I’m attempting to convey is clear. This entire experience has been as beautiful, positive and educational as it has been, at times, overwhelming. All in all, I feel like the doctor and I have both gained so much from it... I will choose a few mice this evening and try the elimination diet again. I will let you know if we have any success. In the interim, we’ve more than spoiled our 9 mice who have 6 levels in a cage that stands over 7 feet high and 3 feet wide... if I can figure out how to post a picture, I will do that as well. Thank you times a million for your insight... being new in this game and facing “issues” can be a bit scary but we’re learning. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help someone else in the future. Thank you again!

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Post by Honey102019 on Thu 16 Apr 2020, 9:29 am

If you can't find another mouse that will stay with her, I would still try to isolate her. It's just for 3 days. If you see a difference, remove all the possible problem foods from everyone's diet.

You can keep her right next to the main habitat and have play dates in a neutral place where there isn't food except for rice based treats.

Or move mom and nursing babies somewhere else and put everyone on just rice based foods, plus their pellet after 3 days.

It would really benefit her. The sooner you can relieve the itching, the less chance this becomes a permanent OCD issue. While it is common for black or black banded mice to have this issue, it's not always permanent.

Just something to consider.
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Post by JustGinger on Thu 16 Apr 2020, 11:04 am

See... and if I had to guess, you’re more informed than most of these books... the reason I say that is because, as mentioned, my boyfriend is a veterinarian and he is not only clueless when it comes to mice, he really has minimal access to resources for information regarding  rodents/other small animals.
He’s a great veterinarian, a great surgeon and a wonderful man but everything we’re learning is new information for both of us. I’m going to separate her in the morning. As mentioned, she is doing better, I just feel like she’s going to be scarred for life. I promise to update you here... I cannot thank you enough. Your input is beyond appreciated.

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