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Bites or something else? Don't know what to do...

I've just found Popcorn looking scruffy and with what look an awful lot like bite marks...  Will upload a video later on.

Dolly is prime suspect as she's grumpy about her eye drops, as well as having a slight history of being aggressive during introductions to other mice.  Cookie has nipped me a couple of times, but she's always got on well with her sister Popcorn.

Poppy definitely isn't happy, but as a temporary measure I don't know whether to put her alone in a cage and keep Cookie and Dolly together or to isolate Dolly and keep the sisters Cookie and Popcorn together? :(

My instinct says Dolly did it, but as there are no marks on Cookie or Dolly it's hard to say for certain.  Putting Popcorn in by herself would seem to be the safest option, but I don't know how she'd cope...

Thoughts please!
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Comments

  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Well I put Popcorn in a mini duna, and she actually seems a lot happier away from the other two.  No idea what I'll do longer-term, but for now I think I've made the right decision.  In the other cage she seemed really scared today, but when I got her away into a cage with fresh bedding and toys she brightened up almost instantly.  I'll be sure and keep her entertained while she's by herself, and I think for now she'll stay solo until the marks and her fur look better.  I'd noticed she wasn't sleeping with the others the last few days, but the marks and scruffy fur are definitely new.

    Does anyone know if it's better to treat for mites even when there's a bit of broken skin (I couldn't tell if her marks were just red or if they'd actually been bleeding a little), or should I give it a few days and see?  I'd like to treat her just in case, but I don't want to irritate her skin either...
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 820
    Just wanted to say sorry poor popcorn has had a bit of a hard time.
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Thanks Nicky. :) She's such a sweet-natured little thing, it's a real shame that one of the others seems to have been bullying her...
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 820
    When I first introduced Hocus to Pumpkin all was well but as pumpkins tumour got worse Hocus started acting different very nervous and didn't seem as happy she also stopped sleeping near Pumpkin and although I was gutted when Pumpkin went Hocus has seemed brighter. I think Pumpkin was to ill near the end to cope with little Hocus. They really are very complex little mites arnt they?
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Definitely!  Maybe our mice are in need of a good psychiatrist. :P
  • Posts: 529
    Poor girl :(

    I hope you manage to get things sorted for the girls soon.
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    edited July 2015 Posts: 994
    I think with regard to treating for mites, as long as the skin isn't too raw you should be ok.
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268
    Maria, have all three girls been fine up until now? Having bite marks all of a sudden does sound suspicious and not good. Did you recently do introductions? Apologies for my lack of what`s been going on as I`ve only been catching up with some posts but not all! x
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    April the girls had been fine up until a day or two ago - but I think a couple of recent changes could account for her maybe being bullied.  First off my mouse Grace died a couple of weeks ago (and she was bottom of the pecking order I believe, although she was never actually bullied), and then Dolly's had to go to the vet's (I took all three mice), which she finds very stressful (plus the return of the equally stressful eye drops!).  So I think maybe she took it out on Popcorn?

    I think I'll keep a close eye on Dolly and Cookie over the next few days, and see if Dolly turns on Cookie or vice versa.  That way I might find out who the troublemaker is.  And I'll definitely not try any reintroductions till at least after Dolly's medication has been stopped.

    Poppy seems happier by herself just now - I'm sure she'll miss her companions soon enough, but for now I think she's better off solo, with plenty of things to entertain her and frequent human company. :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268

    It`s such a shame they have decided to bicker like this having been okay for a while. Something has obviously upset the applecart! Mice just seem to have their own little ideas about bossing or being friends. I hope Poppy can engage with Dolly and Cookie again soon but if she can`t, it`s not the end of the world. Once they make up their minds sometimes they just won`t budge.


    I used to have a red eyed argente female balled Bibi and I called her Mummy Beebs! She was a right little matriarch! She was always on the prowle and if any of the other mice were where they shouldn`t be, she soon let them know! x

  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    I'm less certain today about whether they had a fight or if it's mites - Poppy's been scratching at herself and making the marks worse (one cut's been bleeding a bit - I have antiseptic cream which I could use, or I'm going to a big supermarket tonight that'd have various medical supplies.  Best to buy something, or leave it to nature?), but I don't know if it was a fight originally that Popcorn is now bothered by, or if it was her scratching all along.

    I treated with Ivermectin yesterday, so I'm hoping that'll have an effect.  She's also getting plenty of play time with me, and I've moved the cage downstairs where the air's cooler.

    Bibi sounds like she had quite a character April! :P
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268

    I would imagine if she`s scratching a lot, meaning, looks irritable rather than just the usual mouse ablutions, that she may have some underlying naturally occurring mites Maria, brought about just by stress or other issue, but if the behaviour of the other two mice were causing her to feel put upon, then she may be feeling a wee bit `off`. If you have already done a spot on treatment, these usually work, but I wouldn`t put it on reddened skin or near any cuts. It`s usually applied just behind the neck/upper shoulders or upper back with the fur parted.

    Did you use Xeno50 spot on Maria or something else? This does seem to be the best one on the market. I only used it the once on Maisy when she had a scratching irritation and within 48 hours, she stopped scratching. I couldn`t believe it to be honest as it seemed to work overnight!

    It would be nice if she could go back with the other mice soon if you thought it was the best thing for her, but her health is the most important thing so it`s better to monitor her for a bit. I would just use saline on any cuts Maria as creams can keep a wound or a cut `wet` and prevents it from drying out. Mice scratch and lick at their wounds too so ingesting any medication would need to be safe. I suppose there might be some ointments on the market aimed at children or mild enough to use, but ingestion would be my main worry with topical stuff. Maybe the other members can give you some pointers on that. x


  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Thanks April, that's really helpful. :)

    It was Xeno50, so hopefully it'll do the trick.  And if the cuts are still bleeding today I'll clean them with some saline solution like you say.  I think she probably misses the other mice now she's been away from them for a bit, but I'd like her to have healed up a bit first, in case Cookie over-grooms her or anything, or if they see that she's not doing well and start bullying her.

    Hope I'm doing the right thing in keeping her on her own just now, but I guess there's no way of telling what's really for the best...
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268
    Separations are sometimes necessary though and in this case, you have suspicions that she had bite marks, although they could be scratching wounds? Are the wounds on or around her face/neck/shoulder area Maria or in other places? The tail even? x
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    They're around her shoulders and spine April - they could be either I think.  She definitely seemed scared in the other cage, which was unusual for her, so I think I'll stick with my plan of letting her heal up a bit then reintroducing on neutral ground.  The red bits look no worse than yesterday, so hopefully time and the Xeno50 will do the trick. :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268
    Yes, that sounds sensible Maria. Better to be careful than risk her going downhill further. Hopefully she will heal well quickly and you can then assess her and the other two. x
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Well I reintroduced the mice, as Popcorn seemed to be getting worse with scratching herself when on her own. :( The reintroduction went fine, but poor Poppy's still been scratching.  I treated for mites as I said, and am planning on repeating that in a week or so, but I think if that doesn't work then another trip to the vet's will be needed...

    I don't know how much they'll be able to help, as I know a lot of people on here have battled chronic scratching (which is what I'm scared this will turn into), but I wouldn't feel right not doing everything I could to help the poor girl. :(

    I'll try and get a good video of her tomorrow, and check with you lot if I should take her to the vet sooner rather than later.
  • Posts: 529
    I'm glad the intro went well but I'm sorry Poppy is still scratching :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 820
    Sorry about poppy's scratching hope she gets better soon .
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Thanks both. :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited July 2015 Posts: 1,268

    Maria, she may be in that vicious cycle that OCD creates, but if she was okay a week ago and this itching seemed to start up acutely and now she`s scratching more, it`s difficult to say what the trigger might be. The Xeno spot on is usually very good although I admit I only used it the once on Maisy and 48 hours later, the itching stopped. It was miraculous actually! But don`t lose heart, we will try and cure Popcorn of this.

    I would say if the spot on hasn`t truly had the desired effect, she may not have mites but her body may be responding to something else. I would look closely at anything you may have recently added to their diet for example if you bought something new for them to try? Failing that, there are all sorts of curious things that could trigger a response like this. Stress, lowered immune system, histamine response, allergy or perhaps internal body changes that could even effect her nervous system. Mites is normally the first response though, so your doing that treatment now.

    As for seeing the vet...well personally, I`m of the belief that they might exhaust their medicine cabinet in the hope of finding relief, but at what cost to Popcorn? Maybe I`m just old fashioned, but mice are not used in human medicine for nothing! Cooling lotions, keeping the skin and open wounds clean by applying perhaps a solution from your vet that would keep bacteria out. Just a simple wet antibacterial solution.

    I could mention things like tea tree (watered down), aloe vera, saline or anything `safe` if ingested, which I would approach with caution since mice lick and wash themselves a lot. My facial wash for example is Body Shop tea tree foaming face wash. I have to use this because my skin usually breaks out if I attempt to use something cheap or oily/creamy. Tea tree calms and cools. But it`s also potent, so for use on a mouse, it would need to be diluted right down to a formula that is safe. Not the body shop face wash!!!! but pure tea tree.

    I`m just thinking of some examples that you could research rather than rely on oral antibiotics or drugs that could potentially upset her. x


    Edited to add: There is a gene that mice carry called GNPR (the itch gene) so if a mouse is exposed to a substance that triggers this, it can cause persistent itching. There is a some science on this but it take a bit of reading. I would reduce any high protein of fat from the diet Maria to see if this helps. x




  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Sorry I've just caught up on this Maria :( Poor Dolly sounds like she has been through the wringer lately :( It might be worth a vet visit just now - with Dolly possibly being attacked and then separated, it could have really stressed her out. The continued stress and the attack can lead to an outbreak in mites and the stress stops the mites from being totally wiped out even with treatments sometimes (and apparently some mites are resistant to the ivermectin used in things like Xeno50, there was an alternative that Ceretrea used after getting a resistant type of mite and posted about on the MaN forum - I think it was called selamectin.) It won't necessarily be the case, but if they could suggest something to perk her up a bit or get her to relax (such as zylkene or diazepam) it might help. It might also be worth trying the cream that Ann used on her mice (sorry Ann, I can't remember the name of it!) incase a slight fungal infection has set in. Perhaps hitting it with everything early on will prevent it from developing into an OCD case (I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 994

    It's Terbinafine cream, marketed over the counter as Lamisil.

    Poor Popcorn, I hope the Xeno starts working for her soon.

  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    Thanks April - I know what you mean about its often being better to treat at home, and for now I think I'll follow your advice.  I got a medical student friend to take a look at the sore bits and she said (in her opinion) for now it's best to leave it as is rather than muck about with antiseptic cream or anything like that, as it's not properly bleeding or anything.

    Roz it's actually Popcorn who's got the probable mites - I'm thinking I'll give it another week with Xeno-50, and if that doesn't do the trick then we're off to the vet's again.  The scratching seems limited to one area for now, and she seems less unhappy than when I first found the problem.

    Thanks for all the recommendations about medications - I'll write them down to mention to the vet. :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,268
    Really hope things settle down Maria and it doesn`t become an on going struggle. Give it the benefit of the doubt and see how she fares over the next few days/week. x
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    :( Oh crums, I didn't realise it was a different mouse with the itching, that's what I get for trying to multi-task :( Either way Maria, I'm sory and I hope that they both settle down so that their conditions can be treated and so that they do improve x
  • superwolfsuperwolf Mouse
    Posts: 309
    First bit of good news I've had in a while: Poppy's scratch wounds look less red today. :) I'm hoping (touch wood!) that this is the beginning of the end of my saga of itches, scratches and gunky-looking eyes!
  • Posts: 529
    *crosses fingers for you*
    Thats great news about Poppy :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Hurrah :D **does a happy dance and prays it continues :D **
    Thanked by 1superwolf
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 994
    That's great news Maria, I hope she continues to improve.
    Thanked by 1superwolf
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