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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping that some one can help me with poor Marx my little red mouse. He has had mites and been treated for such but won't stop scratching. He is spending so much time scratching that he isn't eating properly and as a result has gone from his lovely round figure (weighing at just over 50 grammes) down to an unrecogniseable hunched up and sorry looking sick mouse (weighing only 35 grammes) in about a week. He has pulled all the hair out under his chin and is obsessed with scratching his head so has very little skin left between his ears and on his neck so it is bleeding and completely hairless. He isn't even cleaning himself properly because he is scratching so much. He started chronically scratching last time he had mites but he was never as bad as this and even trying to distract him with yummy food like mealworms, or playing isn't stopping him from scratching this time. Can anyone please, please suggest what else I can try to do to stop him scratching and anything that I can do to help build his weight up a bit as I'm really worried that it's going to have a long term impact on his health :cry: ? I've even tried feeding him scrambled egg, baby food and porridge but he is stubborn and won't eat anything like this :cry: Any help is greatly appreciated!!
 

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Hi, I'm really sorry to hear about your poor mousie. :(
I'm not able to offer you any advice as to what may be wrong with Marx, sorry but I did want to let you know about something my Vet gave me to treat a mouse of mine that was scratching her ear like mad, it did not help the mouse with the ear problem but I used it on a mouse with tail blisters and it worked very well-mouse fine.
The Vet gave me - "Surolan" by Janssen animal health, 15ml Ear drops and Cutaneous Suspension, an Ear and Skin treatment for Cats and Dogs, It is for Bacterial, Fungal and Ear mite infections but also provides anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic activiy.
My Vet used it in a mouse as a last resort and because it treats several problems I have since found it very effective. I haven't noticed any side-effects in the mice treated with it and importantly they seemed to find it quite soothing (I used to paint it on with a soft artists -type paint brush)
So just a suggestion but it may be an idea to visit your Vet and see what he/she thinks.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you.x
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Boggit Keeper!! I've already had Marx up to the vet twice with this and he has subsequently been prescribed ivermectin for the mites and then an anti-inflammatory tablet but it still hasn't helped. I've evevn resorted to using nappy rash cream to try and soothe his skin but I will take the details of what you have said up tot the vets when I go tomorrow night. I just really hope that I can get him through this as he is one of my favourites :cry:
 

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Try Johnsons tea tree skin cream for small animals - it's available in pet shops for about £3. Tea tree is a natural antiseptic and is also good at helping wounds heal. I know US breeders use neosporin but I don't know anything about it myself - perhaps one of them can describe it so you can find a UK version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks mousebreeder. I'd been trying to use the tea tree but it didn't have much of an impact at all so switched to the sudacream because it acts as an antiseptic as well. I can't get him to stop scratching and the vet said to bring him back just when the anti inflammatories finish as they may need a little time to kick in :cry:
 

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That sucks :( Was it prednisolone? I'd wonder about some form of skin tumour if the preds aren't working, and the spot-on hasn't. I know hamsters get cutaneous lymphoma that makes them very sorry-looking.

Been looking up papers online - apparently loratadine at 6-10mg/kg can decrease itching in allergic skin disease in mice. Tesco non-drowsy hayfever and allergy relief is loratadine 10mg - a third of a tablet once daily would be the correct dose rate for a 35g mouse. You can give them with preds.

If he's still not stopped scratching once preds have finished, PM me and I can tell you when I'm on and you can come down collect a bottle of Surolan - worth a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all.
I had Marx up to Kallan earlier in the week and we currently have Marx on Surolan and loratadine as well as the prednisolone. He has stayed in his bed for almost two days straight and has only just come out. The poor guy isn't looking much better even though he is drinking and eating loads (I removed all bedding so he is now living on nice fluffy face clothes and towels and has gluten free food.) He has decided to come out tonight and is running around just now but still won't stop scratching. I've added some piccies.




Hard to think this was marx just 2 weeks ago:


Can anyone else think of something that Kallan and I can try for him?? Marx is a sweetheart and i don't want to lose him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He just looks so sad. Look how thin he is (this used to be an obese mouse at almost 60grammes.) If you look at his underside you'll see it's actually exposed skin from his mouth down to his front legs.



Has anyone come across something like this before?
 

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Oh, poor mouse! :(

I would euthanize him. If you want to try keeping him alive, I'd recommend eliminating everything except for one grain (such as wheat) for a week, then slowly adding back other items, one per week. This will help you see whether or not it's a food allergy on top of the mites.

However, with excessive scratching (and barbering), the behavior is often learned. Once the mouse starts scratching (whether for mites or protein allergies or whatever) he never stops because the healing process itches. Whereas you could put an Elizabethan collar on a dog or a child (or simply tell them not to scratch), unfortunately a mouse's small size precludes this. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rhasputin said:
It's possible that you're feeing him something he's allergic too. Looks a lot like an allergy problem to me. :eek:
That's one of the things that Kallan and I were considering. I changed his food to include a gluten free muesli so it is mixed in with some mixed wild bird seed, some pumpkin seeds, a couple of chicken and rice biscuits for dogs and some rice krispies. Do you think any of these would be likely to cause allergies? Before hand it was the same mix but with some wheatabix, and a muesli base (containing wheat flakes, barley, rye.) Or is there anything else that you think I could feed him instead? I wasn't sure if it would be a food allergy so changed his bedding too (from hay and paper to towels.)
 

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I've known people in situations like this to feed whole grain rice or whole grain oats only (nothing else), for a week, and see if it improves. If it does (even just a little bit), keep it up for another week. Then the third week, introduce something else, such as stale bread. If that doesn't cause any harm, then all the ingredients therein are safe, and so forth.

The most common allergens (in mice AND people) are peanuts, nuts, corn/maize, sunflowers, and soy.

Too high-levels of protein can also cause this kind of symptom, but if you do the diet described above, that will clear up too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jack Garcia said:
Oh, poor mouse! :(

I would euthanize him. If you want to try keeping him alive, I'd recommend eliminating everything except for one grain (such as wheat) for a week, then slowly adding back other items, one per week. This will help you see whether or not it's a food allergy on top of the mites.

However, with excessive scratching (and barbering), the behavior is often learned. Once the mouse starts scratching (whether for mites or protein allergies or whatever) he never stops because the healing process itches. Whereas you could put an Elizabethan collar on a dog or a child (or simply tell them not to scratch), unfortunately a mouse's small size precludes this. :(
Thanks Jack. I am trying my best to keep him alive as all my mice are pets and Marx is one of my favourites. He did scratch a lot before when he had mites but never ever like this and there was never any weight loss which is why Kallan said that it might even be something like lyphoma :cry: He was running around last night quite happily and I will keep an eye on him over the weekend but I am beginning to think that I may need to have him pts :cry: I'll try the diet you suggested as well and hopefully he will improve but no such luck so far :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jack Garcia said:
You're very welcome! Good luck, and please keep us updated. I often wonder if seeing a pet suffer hurts us more than the animals! :p
Well the little monster is certainly enjoying all the attention. Between the digestive biscuit with his medicine and going up to see Kallan (who gave his ear a scratch while he had a bath in her hand) he seems to be okay other than the scratching and weight loss. In the meantime I'm in tears apologising for not being able to help him any further!!
 

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He had quite a high dose of steroids which should have stopped any immune-based reaction (like an allergy) in it's tracks. The loratidine is supposed to work well for atopy (another immune disease) in mice but I don't think there's been any reaction so far :( That's why I'm wondering about the possibility of it being something else :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kallan said:
He had quite a high dose of steroids which should have stopped any immune-based reaction (like an allergy) in it's tracks. The loratidine is supposed to work well for atopy (another immune disease) in mice but I don't think there's been any reaction so far :( That's why I'm wondering about the possibility of it being something else :(
Hi Kallan :) Hope you don't mind me sharing Marx, I just thought that maybe some one could say they had come across this before :oops: He was running around last night like an idiot but hasn't surfaced at all today. He's drinking non-stop when he is awake though.
 
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