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Up date on Mickey

Hi guys. So Mickey is home from petco finally! Even though he seems to be a bit better after 2 weeks of Sulfa trim treatment he isn't 100% better. He's still sneezing (:|

I want to try and get him all the way better without more stress, and I was thinking of using the method I found here:

Just wanted to ask before I jump into it if there would be any safety reasons not to.


  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 1,047

    I'd never even heard of Ivy-thyme and I don't know anyone else who has recommended it for use in mice so I'd be tempted to do some more research on it first.

    Respiratory infections can be difficult to completely cure anyway so if Mickey seems happy and healthy enough, it might be worth just keeping an eye on the sneeze for now and possibly treating him again only if he gets any worse.

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited April 2016 Posts: 1,327

    Hi Meece17. Sorry for my absence but is Mickey a Russian dwarf hamster? If he is and Petco have given him an antibiotic, do they have an in-store vet? Chances are they may or may not have given him the correct treatment as Baytril (enrofloxacin) is the usual antibiotic for respiratory issues but giving them the benefit of the doubt, they havn`t managed to supress the sneezing. However, now you need to look at the bedding and substrate he`s on. Have these changed? Are they dusty when lifted and mashed around by hand where you can see small dusty fibres flying around?

    I know it`s not easy to find non-dusty products these days. I`ve always just used wood shavings but not just ANY wood shavings. In the UK we can get decent quality shavings made from European spruce. I advise two wood shaving products as being the best. Chipsi-Classic and Snowflake brands.

    Carefresh can be dusty, but the secret is, to open these products up, remove them from their plastic bags and mash them up into an open air bin with no lid. Mash the shavings or Carefresh or whichever product you use by hand and allow air into it a good month before use. Every so often, take the bin outside and using your hands, lift handfuls up and drop it back into the bin. Allow the air into it. This helps release any strong scent and fine dust.

    I would also suggest spot cleaning only and try not to do full cage cleans. Hamsters and mice like their own scent, so only removing the wet or smelly stuff and adding in some fresh is the best method. Don`t use cleaning products either. Only wash the wheel, any shelf and dishes etc, with warm water. Reducing any harmful dust or scents around the cage and the room should help.

    Sometimes environmental factors play a part in sneezing, but it can come and go. It doesn`t mean the animal is ill. If they are acting fine, bright eyed, eating/drinking and otherwise looking good, the sneezing can be managed. What you don`t want to see is him not eating, looking hunched, laboured or very fast breathing and generally seeing behavioural change from normal. x

  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    Glad to hear Mickey's doing better. I haven't heard of ivy and thyme complex, so I can't advise you there I'm afraid. I can't imagine a small amount in the water doing any harm, but as AnnB says I'd try and do more research before deciding whether or not to try it.

    racingmouse - regarding substrate choice, I'm afraid I have to disagree (sorry racingmouse!). Softwoods contain phenols which have been shown to be damaging to mice's respiratory systems, and also can affect their liver function. I'm not sure if this is true for hamsters, but Mickey is a mouse. There's an article here, with references at the bottom of the page:

    I only use paper-based products in my mouse cages. At the moment I am using Back 2 Nature small pet litter. They're little pellets made of recycled newspaper. Absorbs well, good odor control, non-dusty and un-scented. You can get it on Amazon, if you're in the UK. Not sure about outside the UK but I know there are similar products out there.
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,327
    Ah, sorry, I wasn`t sure of Mickey was a mouse or a dwarf hammie! In that case, wood shavings are a no, no. Hemp is a good alternative but make sure it is not sprayed or treated with Citronella, which is sometimes added to hemp to ward of parasites. If your outside the UK I can`t help with brands of hemp, but you could google it and see if you can source it locally. x
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 360
    Can I come in on the 'hemp' and say if I could go back in time and never use it, I would.  I was drawn to it's advertisement as a natural, soft, highly absorbent, dust free and odourless material.    Just a few hours with hemp was the start of itching and scratching for two of my mice that has hideously risen again recently. That said, three were fine with it at the time, but as you know and I have learnt, mice aren't all the same. 
    There are other paper based, low dust, purpose made substrates so I don't risk anything else anymore.
    Mum to ratties Bosley, Ruby, Emily and Jean, Teddy the hamster and George the gerbil.
    Never forgotten - my lovely fancy mice Jill, Kate, Eve, Kris, Sabrina, Dylan, Kelly, Abby, Tiffany, Natalie and Alex and wild mice Harry and Wills and Charlie the gentle-man Rat.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,327

    The two hemp brands I used were Aubiose (UK) and Siccafloor organic hemp (Zooplus website). I was sceptical too but when I switched the mice onto this, they were fine on it. I previously used Bedxcel cardboard bedding and although this was good, I thought the hemp was more absorbent and the mice could rummage around in it. I suppose it depends where you are in the world and which brand of hemp you can get. What I did was, I managed to get a sample from a forum member and I placed a few handfuls in the cage in a corner to observe the mice. Once I knew it wasn`t causing any issues, I added in more and more until the mice switched to the hemp completely. I could easily have stuck with the cardboard bedding too, but once switched to the hemp, the girls were fine on it. No worse really than when they were bedded on the Bedxcel.

    It`s all trial and error with such things but with mice, it`s better to stick to paper based or substrates that don`t give off a scent or is overly dusty. x

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