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Mouse with skin infection - need help!
caseyjamest posted:
Hi, I'm looking for some help treating my 2 1/2 year old pet mouse before I decide to put it down.
About 3 weeks ago, right after its cage mate (also a female mouse) died, my mouse began to develop sores on its skin. They began to spread and the mouse began itching and scratching until a large part of its back was completely hairless. Other sores began appearing around the large area, which seems to show that the problem is spreading.

The skin, while somewhat raw, seemed to be in okay condition until about 2 days ago- when it got much worse with open wounds. As far I can tell, I may be dealing with parasitic mites or mange. For the past 2 days I have been bathing the mouse, and applying antiseptic to it (benzalkonium chloride) I got from the pet store.

I am now cleaning/disinfecting its cage everyday, using only paper towel and tissue to line the cage and create a sterile environment. I have also apply hydrocortisone to try and relieve the itching and keep it from scratching off its fur and skin.

I took a picture - forewarning - it looks bad! It was taken just after I bathed the mouse so its still wet, which makes the wounds and skin look much more raw than it actually is.
You can see the small spots beneath the large area that have just appeared in the past couple days.

Up until a few days ago, he didn't seem to be suffering much at all, and while it still runs on its wheel and is eating... it spends a lot of time sitting still with its eyes partially closed.

Any help or insight into treating this, and if its even possible for a mouse to recover from this, would be appreciated. I don't want to resort to putting it down, but I won't let it suffer much longer.

- Casey
skylinepigeon responded:
Casey, your mouse seems to have a lice or mite infection. Be careful what you use because some treatments will poison your mouse - so best consult a vet. Meantime, apply Vaseline twice a day all around the affected area to keep the irritation down. How is the mouse doing?


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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