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Chronic scratching

Lately i have noticed my little man Zephyr to be excessively grooming, scratching constantly. My first port of call was to do a Xeno 50 treatment right away, this was done last week. It's not helped at all as of yet. He's got teeny wounds on the back of his ears and his head and a bit below his fur on his back near his head. His diet is 1/2 ratrations and JR mouse feast with cat kibble added, he has calcivet and daily essentials vitamin supplement.
I have no idea where he'd have got mites from if he has got them, i've not changed anything as of normal. :(
What could this be? I am so worried from my first experience with Linus of Chronic Scratching.... which turned out to be skin cancer :cry:

Comments

  • _zany_toon_zany_toon Legacy
    Posts: 592
    Mice can develop mites if they aren't feeling well, from things in their environment (I've had it come in on shop bought bedding and toys) so if it is mites it could be that. I had mites come in numerous times on bedding and ended up switching to paper I shredded at home - since doing that I only get a mite outbreak when some one is ill or rundown. If it is mites he may need the full course of treatment before you see a difference although most mice, or at least with mine, show some improvement after the first treatment. You will need to treat him again in two weeks from the date of first treatment and then again two weeks after that. Treating the environment is something I normally do for my mice when they first show signs like this as mites can live in the bedding and in the toys - freeze the bedding until the day you need it, if Zephyr is on his own change the bedding every few days, freeze any wooden toys or spray with hutch and cage spray and scrub with hot water after a half hour. If you use cardboard toys you can replace them all every cage clean until you find out if it is mites.

    Other causes of scratching can be fungal infections which I don't think is as common but I am normally advised by my vet to treat with some athlete's foot powder to see if it helps. Too high a protein content in the diet can cause constant itching in certain areas - ideally, for a mouse, protein content should be between 14 and 16%, any higher can cause these hot spots. That can be solved by reducing the protein (if you can tell me the percentage protein in each of the foods you use and the weight of each you use to make his food mix I will work that out for you to make sure your protein is in the right range.) A change in hormone levels can also cause scratching, as can a food allergy, or it can even be a skin condition, or chronic scratching as a result of some unknown reason or because he started scratching as a result of something (like mites) and just won't stop.) Treatments for hormonal and chronic scratching conditions are numerous and it really depends on your vet - my two boys (Pinky and Perky) are on 3 treatments at once and it has shown some signs of improvement but it can take a long time to figure out a treatment that works and you would need to see what your vet suggests - if it gets to that stage I can tell you what my boys are on, but you would need to discuss with your vet if those treatments are possible and to get amounts for dosages etc. Again, for most of these - if mite treatment doesn't work - I would recommend going to your vet and asking their input, they may well think or something else that it could be or an entirely different type of treatment for it that might work.

    I hope that it is as simple as Zephyr having a bad case of mites, I will keep my fingers crossed - give him a little hug from me and my itchy boys :)
  • _Susie_Susie Legacy
    Posts: 290
    Hey guys , thanks for the good informative responses!
    I am unsure the protein content of the ratrations feed unfortunatly as it does not state it on their site.
    I have come to some thought.. i think he may be scratching out of stress... he lives near-ish another male mouse, and i've witnessed him bar biting towards Orions cage... I shall have a cage re-arrangement and see if it helps.. since now i think about it the scratching started when i moved orion into my bedroom. When i took Zephyr on he had lived with another male mouse and they had bad fights Zephyrs tail when i got him was covered in bites, deep ones too. :(
  • _Susie_Susie Legacy
    Posts: 290
    An update on the whole scratchy Zephyr situation; So i had a cage move around so that the male mice were in a different room to Zephyr. This did not work because he seemed stressed about having neighbours at all. So, he's now got a room to himself i have been observing him.. he is not chronically scratching and seems far more calmer. :) and more willing to interact with me too :)
  • _T-bear_T-bear Legacy
    Posts: 548
    Wow I was going to say that it could be from stress but you already figured that out, guess I'm a day late and a pound or two short.

    Glad to know that Zepher has stopped scratching
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