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What should I do?

There are few things relating to one poor mousey I would like advice on.

Basically I recently started work in a pets and aquatics section of a garden centre, and i'm sure many of you on here have enough to say about pet shops, to most of which I would agree. It is a job I had been dubious of applying for because of my negative feelings towards pet shops however this one in particular has brilliant and caring staff who follow company and external guidelines and will refuse sales if thought the potential new owner was not taking into consideration the right care for the animal. Also beggars can't be choosers in the current economic climate, I needed a job! Of most of the major pet shops around this one is a shining example.

Now that that is out of the way I have a few concerns about a poor female mouse that is currently in quarantine and who has been there since before my starting this job.

These are a few factors of what I've been told about the mouse prior to my arrival:

- female mouse was removed and quarantined (this is where the animal is taken off shop floor to be treated and kept in quiet area until healthy) because she had a small wound on her back which they suspected was related to a food allergy or mites.

- The wound got worse before it got better revealing red raw and slightly bloody area but she now has a healed but furrless area of about 1.5 by 1 inch area on her back. They switched her off harry hamster food (the suppliers feed them this so have to feed them when they come int) and gradually introduced selective food as suspicious of maise allergy. and i suspect treated her back with some sort of ointment.

She has been ok since this however she will never be able to be sold because her bald patch on her back where her wound healed.


Recently she has started to have bloody ears and I am unsure whether this is due to mite, food allergy (a staff member accidentally fed her hamster food a few days ago) or boredom.

The mouse pretty much has no ears left now. I am highly suspicious that it is boredom or loneliness that has caused her to scratch excessively. She is housed in one of those small hamster rectangular cages with a lift top wire lid with only a house a tube and a wheel and with no other play mates. When I saw her in there today she broke my heart.

The vets would be the best option but unfortunately it is quite hard to arrange a vet trip and staff aren't allowed to do it on companies behalf due to insurance policies or something, and they have a good relationship with the local vets where they have phone chats if they fear for an animals health. Although they do take animals occasionally but it can be a difficult process.

So any advice on,

a) why you think the mouse is scratching?
b) is there anything I can do without the vets?
and c) There is a chance I have been told that if i asked my manager I could have the mouse (not pay) do you think this is a good idea? If i did I would plan on putting her in a suitable cage and trying to introduce a friend for her.

I would appreciate any helpful advice! I just don't know what to do for this poor little mite and its the first I knew about her today.

Thank you


  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    It sounds like scratching/excessive grooming - may have been triggered by mites or something similar, more than likely made worse by stress. This is probably not helped by a fairly unsuitable diet - a hamster mix is not really suitable for a mouse, if there's a rat mix at the shop that would be more suitable for the time being or a bunny mix with protein and seeds added (this of course depends on how flexible they'd be to allowing these sorts of changes). Female mice also need company, if she's been on her own for a while this could be increasing her stress.

    The bloody ears are likely also to be a result of scratching but it would be worth treating her for mites in case this is what started it. Unfortunately, when they start doing it, it can be hard to get them to stop but hopefully if you're able to make some positive changes for her her stress levels would decrease.

    The best course of action would be to get her to a vet for a once over - vet would also be able to give you mite treatment. You can buy ivermectin online too.

    If it were me, I'd urge my employer to try and make her living situation more suitable and explain that her problems are probably due to stress. But I'd also be taking her home with me (that's me though!)

    I hope this makes sense, I'm falling asleep :)
  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    Carefresh is meant to be dust free so shouldn't irritate it as much as something like shavings (although I hate the stuff personally! Some people get on well with it though)

    A topical mite cream will probably not be as effective as something the vet could give, this will normally be a drop on the back of the neck of ivermectin.

    Female to female intros are usually pretty straight forward, I've had some very stressed mice who've really benefited from company, she should be fine - if you do end up taking this course of action, we'd be happy to advise you on the best way to intro. Even if she continues to scratch, she'd be a lot happier with company :)

    Well done to you for taking so much time to think about how to improve this little one's life :)
  • _PresqueVu_PresqueVu Legacy
    Posts: 788
    Hopefully you can take on the little one, poor thing.

    The only thing I would say though is it would be really useful to discuss with your manager a course of action for when cases like this happen, as I'd worry about it happening again. Any health problem with a mouse is likely to get worse if they are kept on their own, just because they will get depressed and bored - so they'd need to have a think about having options for them in the future.
  • _lauren_lauren Legacy
    Posts: 1,214
    Well done for bringing her home :)

    Are the noises she makes a little 'chirrupy' or 'hooty'. I'd be tempted to get this little lady seen by a vet, especially given the circumstances - a check up might be really beneficial, especially with regards to respiratory problems and he/she may even be able to advise you further on the skin complaints :)
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