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Regarding Mabel

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Regarding Mabel

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:13 pm

Okay, so update time.

Mabel isn't doing great. She could be worse. We certainly haven't had any face-completely-covered-in-blood incidents. But on the other hand, she could be much, much better. She's been scratching herself a lot. She's missing a lot of the fur under her eye now. A big chunk of it is all just pink skin. I kept thinking she was bleeding, but I'm more used to the site now. Her eye right now has a lot of ugly scratches and scabs around it. When I have her out for playtime, I can't look away for a second without seeing her scratching.

I think part of the problem is me. I'm ashamed to admit it, but after she started to go downhill again, I lost a lot of the drive that I had to help her constantly, around the clock. I slowed down the toy switchings, and it definitely didn't help her. She's also figured out how to get around the extra playtimes I've been giving her, which I only just figured out. I wouldn't take her out if she was a sleep, because I figured that if she's asleep, she's not scratching, and she needs her rest anyways. But I'm pretty sure she's just been hanging out inside hides when she knows I'm around now, because by the looks of her eye, she's definitely been scratching after hours. And she pretty much dislikes me again, because I'm constantly taking her out to flush or clean up her eye, and she knows it. Sigh. I wish she would get comfortable with me again, but I'd rather she be healthy first. Other things, I can tackle later.

I'm not entirely sure what to do now. I think that first, I need to get back my drive and enthusiasm, and I need to start switching out toys every other day. And after that, I need to take her out for playtime right when I get home from school- no matter what she's doing- and keep her out with me until evening (with water breaks, of course), so I can keep an eye on her and stop her from scratching. Those two things helped before. The only thing stopping it now is just me and my pathetic lack of drive. Other than that, though, I'm really not sure what to do. Newspaper shavings used to be a good tool to distract her, but she doesn't really like them anymore, and Little Cow and Rosie pretty much took over as resident interior designers. And besides, I use newspaper as bedding now anyway, so it wouldn't do much. I'm guessing I need to find some new toys and different things for her to play with. Like maybe little paper hearts, or some natural bird toys. I'll go on a pet store run on Friday, see what I can find.

But anyway, that's just my rambling. I just hope she'll get better, and if she doesn't, I hope it isn't entirely my fault that she didn't.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by essentiallysue on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:27 pm

Did your vet recommend anything for the itching? When I had a mouse in such condition, my vet had me give her a tiny bit of children's Benadryl (sp?), along with an antibiotic. She did seem to be more comfortable. I don't remember the previous discussion as to what your vet has prescribed. I certainly wouldn't blame you, as you have tried and this is hard to conquer.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by CinnamonPearl on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:42 pm

No, I didn't ask my vet for anything. Mabel got doxycycline to fight the infection that triggered all this. I'll have to consider bringing her in. But I feel like I shouldn't since there have been worse cases than Mabel's, and all those mice recovered without any sort of antihistamine as far as I can remember.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by CallaLily on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:45 am

I'm so sorry you're going through this all over again. I wish I had some advice to give.  Nothing I did ever worked for Daryl and his ongoing eye issues - though we did not try benadryl, so that idea may be worth looking into further.  Hugs.


Last edited by CallaLily on Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:53 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by MouseLover on Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:24 am

CinnamonPearl - don't be so hard on yourself. You've been trying for a long time to help Mabel, and it's natural to feel disheartened when she still hasn't gotten better despite all your efforts. You're only human, and caring for a mouse with chronic health issues can be draining, so it's not surprising that you went through a phase where you perhaps could have done more. I bet lots of us have been in your shoes before.

The important thing is that you're back at a point where you want to do your best for her again. That's great, and I'm sure Mabel will appreciate that. You're a great mouse momma!

Hope Mabel improves soon, poor little thing Sad

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by scaredymouse on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:22 pm

When it comes to things like this, no two mice are the same. That's why it's so hard to help them overcome this terrible affliction. Just because other mice didn't use benadryl doesn't mean that they wouldn't have benefited from it. Benadryl would help make her more comfortable. At one point, I was giving Gilly meloxicam to help pain (I assumed it had to hurt the way she was tearing it up). If she hadn't have improved, I would have surely tried Benadryl to see if I could make her feel a little better.

And try not to be so hard on yourself. It's draining to provide such intensive care day in and day out, especially when there is no end in sight. I would try the Benadryl, even if it doesn't help with the scratching, it causes drowsiness so at least she'll get some sleep. And when she's sleeping, she can't scratch! Other than that, there isn't anything else that you could be doing for her. All you can do is treat the symptoms, make her happy and keep doing what you're doing.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:19 am

She spent the entire day out with me today. She joined me to watch some lets plays and some Undertale animations. It was enjoyable. I felt bad because I had to wake her up to take her out, but I didn't want her to wake up and scratch herself while I was downstairs. There were a couple of times when she got out of my sight long enough to make herself bleed (aka 20 seconds), so I had to clean her up, but other than that I just prodded her with a pen whenever she would try and scratch, and it distracted her well enough. Not that she was a fan.

I might just have to try Benadryl. She's completely obsessed right now. I'll have to schedule a vet appointment. It's a good thing I have spring break next week. What's the usual dosage for Benadryl? Once a day or twice?

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by Norman's Mom on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:14 pm

Benadryl is not a drug often given to mice - it knocks them out badly. I would ask after something called "Apoquel", or, explore steroids more.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by CinnamonPearl on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:27 pm

Ah, I see. Apoquel it is then. I'm guessing it also suppresses itching but without making them drowsy?

Mabel had a pretty good day today. She spent it out with me all day again. She only made herself bleed once, and even then it was hardly anything. I hardly had to pencil prod her. She was pretty content to just relax with me while I was reading webcomics and such. She's back in the tank now; I figured she needed a break. I switched up their toys early, which I hope helped too. I'm gonna wait and see for the next few days, and then decide whether I think she needs a drug or not. I know one good day isn't a whole lot to base it off, but who knows? Maybe she'll come out of the dip now that I'm not letting her down anymore.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by MouseLover on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:09 pm

(Off topic - sorry - but OMG I LOVE UNDERTALE Laughing I have a spider bake sale poster in my room)

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by Norman's Mom on Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:12 am

The stuff (apoquel) is fairly new - it's been used to treat animals with severe scratching/self-mutilation issues like this - BUT - it is a new drug. It's being hailed as a "miracle" drug because it has seemed to stop what vets call "environmental allergies" - which is a nice way of saying, "we know your pet is allergic to something outside, but we don't know what."

My dog has been on it for two years - and I don't see any adverse side effects other than he is a little thirsty. It would be interesting if they can apply it to mice...because..the stuff WORKS.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by AppleCheeks on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:55 am

@Norman's Mom wrote:The stuff (apoquel) is fairly new - it's been used to treat animals with severe scratching/self-mutilation issues like this - BUT - it is a new drug.  It's being hailed as a "miracle" drug because it has seemed to stop what vets call "environmental allergies" - which is a nice way of saying, "we know your pet is allergic to something outside, but we don't know what."

My dog has been on it for two years - and I don't see any adverse side effects other than he is a little thirsty.  It would be interesting if they can apply it to mice...because..the stuff WORKS.  

Apoquel is absolutely raved about in the "animals with allergies" world. Its apparently one of the few medications that treats the cause of the itch and doesn't dull the immune system like steroids do - can you tell I've been reading brochures? (was at the vet today and ironically Callie just started her first day on Apoquel today).
It's fairly cheap and seems to be pretty effective - in regards to side effects, there is a study that has shown that the side effects were similar regardless of whether they were on apoquel or given a placebo.
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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:11 am

Really? I'm a bit shocked at the placebo thing. Don't you have to know what something does for it to have a placebo effect? That doesn't really make sense to me.

But anyway, apoquel sounds like a necessity. Remember how I said she was having a good day? Yeah, looks like o jinxed it. Yesterday evening, she would not stop scratching no matter how much I poked her. Usually when I poke her, she'll stop for a couple of minutes before reattempting, but last night she would just go for it again immediately after being poked. I'm lucky she didn't make herself bleed. I'm starting to think she's going to need some outside help. I'll have to ask her doctor about it.

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URGENT

Post by CinnamonPearl on Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:29 am

Okay, I really need some urgent advice. I had Mabel and Rosie out playing on the bed, and when it was time for them to go back to the tank, I realized that Mabel felt light. As in, Rosie light. Her entire life, she's always had this wonderful, squishy weight whenever she would sit in my hand, but she felt like skin and bones. I didn't weigh the girls last weekened, even though I usually do it during tank cleanings, but I did an emergency weighing, and she was 37g. She dropped twenty grams over the course of two weeks.

What does this mean? Could she be sick? Is she not eating? Besides the weight drop, she hasn't been acting any differently outside of her OCD, but weight drops in pets NEVER go well for me. She looks so tiny, she's lost all her plumpness. Should I make a vet appointment? If anyone has any advice or anything on this, PLEASE give me some word! I don't know what to do! Worry

EDIT: Well, I tried to make a vet appointment, but her doctor just happened to go on vacation today and won't be back for a week, and the other vets are refusing to see her. They told me to bring her somewhere else. This would never happen if she was a dog or cat. I've got a mountain of complaints ready for them when I go back there. I don't have time for them to ---- me around just because they don't care.

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Re: Regarding Mabel

Post by MouseLover on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:02 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that Sad that makes me so angry that the vets have treated you and Mabel that way Sad

Do you think there's any chance that she's lost weight from the increased activity of scratching all the time? I don't have any wisdom to offer I'm afraid, but really wish Mabel all the best, and I hope you're coping okay too xx

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