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If you were a Mice are Nice member, and haven't got the Forum Refugee badge - PM Crittery to sort this out for you!

So...how is everyone?

My wee Russian dwarf hamster Chubs is older now but still thriving. He`s fed on JR Farm dwarf food from Zooplus as his main feed, but I`ve decided when the last bag if finished to go back to Burgess Dwarf food as he seems to love the millets and the peak flakes. The JR food from Zooplus is good, but there is also some wastage like the large biscuits and some of the other bits and pieces he`s not liking, so the best alternative is the Burgess dwarf food and it`s easier to get too as the minimal order on Zooplus is £15 and I can`t justify paying that when I only have one hamster! He also gets Supreme Science Selective biscuits and I buy him little extras too like the mixed nuts from Lidl! He`s keen on his gala apple daily too!

The forum seems quite just now but hope everyone is doing fine. My pain is much the same so havn`t been around much as a result and having other things to cope with. x

Comments

  • NickyNicky Mouse
    Posts: 815
    Glad Chubs is doing well,its a long time since we owned a dwarf. The last one we had we were asked to look after it for some one who was going on holiday,as soon as I saw that he lived in 'bedroom' of a rotastack with no room to play or move around I was determined to keep him,luckily they seemed pleased to give him up and he turned out to be a friendly lovely little guy.


  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930

    Wee Chubs must be quite some age now.

    Don't talk to me about food though, I bought a bag of mixed grain some time ago from a farm shop that I stumbled upon, which sold reasonably priced bird food etc. I stopped using it for the mice when they became itchy, in case the new food had something to do with it but I bagged it up and hung on to it, thinking I might give it to the birds. Friday morning just before I went to work I found half a dozen little creatures climbing the wall by the bag and closer inspection revealed them to be weevils. I binned the food immediately and charged around with the hoover before going to work but in my rush/stupidity, forgot to empty the hoover into the bin so I've spent the whole weekend removing weevils from my house.


  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited May 2016 Posts: 1,187

    Oh Ann that must have been awful. I was just reviewing mixes the other day and that`s when I looked at what Chubs prefers now so will be sticking to the Burgess Dwarf food and the Science Selective once the JR Farm stuff finishes. It`s easier for me to get locally too which helps.

    Chubs age.....well Roz and I were told he was a year old when I adopted him so if that calculation is correct, he`s roughly two years and four months old. He`s looking fine though. Some finer hair around his neck area but overall, he`s okay. I`m inclined to think he`s a little younger than this but not by much. As long as he keeps going and is happy that`s the main thing.


    Nicky, dwarf hamsters are great pets and are fairly easy pets to have. Due to their nightly escapades, they tend to sleep mostly during the day. My last four (Chinese, two separate Roborovski and now my Russian dwarf) were all brilliant. Chubs likes to do his own thing really. x

  • KawaiiKawaii Lemming
    Posts: 245
    wow Chubs is a good age well done racingmouse....both my hammies are fairly young, a yearish so i hope i have them at least 2 more years. Dunno if i will get any more when they scurry off to rainbow bridge though, hate how short their little lives are, even 2 or 3 which is a really good age for a small fluff isn't very long at all really.
    AnnB i did laugh at your food problem...LOL that's terrible really though! Did you complain to the people you bought it from??

    Proud owner of 2 chinchillas and a dwarf hamster

    (chins for the win!)

     If I'm not active I have probably forgotten my password (again)....

  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    AnnB - that sounds AWFUL  :-O

    Kawaii - I hate how short mouse lives are (1-2 years), and considered not getting any more. It's heartbreaking. But then I figured their lives will be short whether I buy them or not, so better that they come to me than to someone who won't love them and take care of them like I will.
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,187

    That`s a good point to make MouseLover. Better they live a good life with you than a short one where they won`t be best cared for. That`s the attitude I take too. I havn`t kept any mice for a number of years now and I adore them as characters and buddies. I miss their interactions greatly, but sadly, not their health problems. When we lose them it`s like losing part of our soul. maybe a bit over the top to say that but for me, they really were more than just mice. All different and have their own personalities. I went back to keeping just a single dwarf rescue hamster after I had the mice because I find them on the whole, healthier in one respect, but not as hands-on. But then again it depends on the hamster!


    Chubs is very much a loner and does his own thing. Preferring to sleep during the day only venturing out for a snack or a pee! Sometimes rummaging around in his substrate! he`s an easy little man to care for really, so no regrets. x

  • KawaiiKawaii Lemming
    Posts: 245
    Chubs sounds like Jane lol. When she wants interaction she'll put her paws on my hand as I'm putting in the food and if she's not interested then she just goes back to bed. lol lazy Princess.

    Proud owner of 2 chinchillas and a dwarf hamster

    (chins for the win!)

     If I'm not active I have probably forgotten my password (again)....

  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    racingmouse - I agree completely. I have always said that when they go, it's like they leave a mouse-shaped hole in my heart. It's the price I pay for falling in love with such fragile animals. I am addicted to their personalities and general cuteness though  :\">
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,187

    One of the main reasons I decided to down size so to speak was due to the health issues and losses, although admittedly I did get more used to dealing with that as time went on. It`s difficult though.

    Kawaii, tell me about Jane? Is she a Russian dwarfie? Chubs isn`t as active as I would have liked him to be or the sort who wants attention, but he has this clocked routine in his little head and he seems to enjoy doing his own little things. x

  • KawaiiKawaii Lemming
    Posts: 245
    yep...about a year old so much younger than Chubs. she's very lazy. She has an identical routine everyday too...guess it's a dwarfie thing.

    Proud owner of 2 chinchillas and a dwarf hamster

    (chins for the win!)

     If I'm not active I have probably forgotten my password (again)....

  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    racingmouse and MouseLover - well everybody really - it is good to hear it's not just me who feels the pain of loss or anticipated loss. I read the memorials and although I don't know you or your people I cry for you and them and at the sentiments written. I don't know how you continue to do it. I almost wish I hadn't taken on mice as the thought of losing them is terrible. Am I selfish? They are like children to me (apologies to anyone with children who is offended by that).
    I have only had one mouse put to sleep and that was heartbreaking, I felt I had failed her. And I sit here with a girl up my sleeve having given her antibiotics that are barely touching it and she is scratching and pulling at her chest that is bare of fur and wet, I ask, should I end her mjisery now? But she is so good and so pleased to see me and in her own way, has a life, is hungry, thirsty and even tries to run on a wheel - the vet has hope but I don't know what's best to do. Mouse-shaped hole? I should say so. Ripped out and bleeding at the edges.
    Sorry, forum not agony aunt.
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • Meece17Meece17 Lemming
    Posts: 34
    Sarahnash, I had a dwarfie "Chadwick" that lived nearly his whole life with cushings. He was happy to get treats and lived (other than scratching and being near completely bald) fairly happily. Luckily I never had to make the desition to put him down, I guess you have to deside when they are completely miserable, and when they are uncomfortable but still playing, eating and enjoying themselves. I sympathize, it was really hard to see Chadwick like that, for me and him.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited May 2016 Posts: 1,187

    Sarahnash - I sympathise. It`s not easy dealing with mice`s on going health related issues but the fact that we can help or try is the main thing. Mice are strong willed and even when they seem grossly affected by skin conditions or a tumour, they always battle on. The are just amazing in that way.

    What is wrong with your girl, is it a skin complaint? You say she`s on Baytril? That`s good, but sometimes staph infections and the like can cause these skin complaints in mice and it`s a constant battle of wills. What age is she? x

  • MouseLoverMouseLover Lemming
    Posts: 188
    Sarahnash - sorry to hear about your little mousie :( I only have them put to sleep if there's absolutely no hope, or if they no longer have a good enough quality of life. You know your mouse best, and if you say that she seems happy to see you, and tries to run on a wheel, and goes about her mousey business, then I would think that she still enjoys her life, even if things are difficult right now.

    Mice seem to have such a lust for life, and I would imagine that as long as they still have that, they would want to live for as long as possible.
    Hamster: Archie
    Mice: Honey, Violet, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
    Rainbow Bridge: Daisy, Peach, Ivy, Penelope, Hazel, Ruby, Clover, Peanut, Minnie, Ginger
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,187
    Agree with that MouseLover. x
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    Everyone, thank you for your kind words of advice, support and sympathy.
    Meece17 - I hurried off to look up Cushings and both girls do drink a lot (especially Dylan who also wees a lot, mostly on me) and the jaw thing I thought I saw on Dylan was nothing to do with her teeth - the skin around the mouth is thickened (web search suggests thickening of skin is another symptom of Cushings). So this is very interesting.
    Racingmouse - both girls on Baytril to counter any infection they may be causing themselves by introducing bacteria in their lesions. More preventative of secondary issues than fixing the problem I think. The skin scrapings show 'nothing other than the expected bacteria'. The other results, while I think of it, show the oral and nasal passages clear, no tumour.
    That said my referral vet has said to go back to Synulox as I think there was a slight improvement when using that (not so wet). But we're in AB for the long haul I think. She also suggested an omega 3 supplement so I am giving them a tiny smear of Yumega Plus oil (as recommended by my vet - it's for dogs with itchy skin really). She has also considered Piriton, but changing one thing only before introducing something else.
    Ages - roughly Dylan is 33 weeks and Sabrina is 37 weeks.
    MouseLover - I don't want to put either girl to sleep and thank you for confirming you don't do it either. I just fear they may be in pain or unhappy (the vet says they may have pain which is why she has prescribed Metacam). I don't want my desire to overshadow their needs.
    But thank you all, I am less unhappy and desperate today.
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    I've been quiet on their problems recently but thought I'd post an update.
    Both girls have been on/off Synulox and Metacam since the first visit to exotic vet in Bath. Mostly on. It isn't having a huge benefit but I do notice when Dylan in particular isn't on it.
    We have recently tried cold laser therapy (K Laser) which has not been done before on mice (works very well on cats and dogs). Obviously mice won't stay still so they needed to be knocked out briefly for the treatment. So 1hr driving to Bath, 48secs of treatment, 1hr home again (sequences shortened), 6 times over 2 weeks. Just finished last Wednesday. Sadly not an immediate blazing fix for either girls. Now we are trying Cortavance corticone spray applied with a cotton bud. They hate it but I'm told it's the smell rather than it's hurting them. Sabrina is drier on her chest but has scratched her eye terribly, bleeding, withdrawn, half closed. Dylan is wet on her chest, permanently licking it and has also milky patches on her eyes which could be cataracts, scratched corneas, or something else.... The next plan is a vet dermatologist and opthamologist who I hope to see the second week in July.
    There's more...
    Tiffany my orange girl has always been a bit chattery and sneezy. She has had a course of Baytril but it never really cleared. Last week she was significantly absent from games and I could hear her chattering and clicking. I made an appointment to see vet on Sunday (last). When I saw her last Wednesday night her eye appeared to be bleeding. Quick web search said this was porphyrin staining associated with RI and commonly seen in rats. When I got back from work Thursday the eye was worse and she was more RI symptomatic. And she'd lost 7gms in 5 days. Straight down the vet who said give her Synulox for 14 days - which of course I have for Dylan. That sorted the eye after one evening dose and she has improved in chattering. However, during dosage I found a lump under her chin. Back to vet Sunday who says give her Metacam for 5 days, if no change, gets bigger she with go for biopsy Friday. I am struggling with that as she is really calm, happy, eats, takes her meds beautifully and doesn't appear in pain. The lump is hard which is generally bad, but do I put her through a procedure that may only confirm the worst and make her feel a bit rubbish? And speed the growth if it is a cancer. I don't think I want to, but can I know about an issue and do nothing about it?
    And... I have heard another set of chattering and I suspect it is my most un-tame girl so any meds will be a trial.
    Sorry it's such a long post of doom and gloom. I do have some healthy girls and boys, honestly. So many people not quite right, I wonder if I am doing it wrong.
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930

    I must admit the OCD scratching thing has very nearly stopped me keeping mice, I just felt awful not being able to find the cause. The closest I got was when I started to get a really itchy/raw skin complaint myself and although initially wrongly diagnosed by the doctor, eventually a skin scrape proved a type of ringworm and that's when I was prescribed Terbinafine (Lamisil) cream which did the trick for me and seemed to work well for the one mouse I had at the time with the OCD scratching. I've since had two more mice develop the condition and the Lamisil cream didn't seem to work as well for them. I'm so pleased you're persevering to find a cure, it has to happen one day although it may still be a long road.

    Respiratory infections and tumours just seem to go hand in hand with mouse ownership unfortunately, although I would tend to lean towards an abscess if the lump is on her chin (lets hope it's that anyway).

    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    I know, it is heartbreaking to watch. Sometimes I cannot watch as I know as soon as I stop distracting them they will just start again. I'm sorry to say sometimes I walk away.
    Re: Lamisil - That's interesting as just this week I have an itchy place in the crook of my elbow (where they sit up my sleeve). I put it down to being irritated by their little claws but since reading this I have put some athletes foot cream on it and it's calmed down. It is terbinafine based.
    When they had the biopsy they were tested for fungal infections, mites, etc and didn't have at that time. But that's not to say....
    Do you know if there is any issue with ingestion though? They will lick it off despite distractions.
    Re: Tiffany - I think her lump has gone down so I am going to watch and see. She hasn't gone to the vet today. Hurrah. :)
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930

    I'd had a full biopsy on one mouse and skin scrapes on two others and none of them indicated a fungal infection either. It was only when I started to get some really itchy patches of skin myself that I wondered about a connection. Several of the sites that became infected were where I'd had insect bites or cuts so the fungal infection was secondary. When I first visited the doctor I mentioned the connection with animals and I asked for a skin scrape but she just said "we don't do skin scrapes at the surgery". She was sure it was discoid eczema and prescribed a steroid cream which just made my skin worse so I saw a different doctor who thankfully did agree to a skin scrape and I urged her to consider ringworm and treat for it so even though she hadn't yet had the results, she did agree and that's how I ended up with the Terbinafine cream. My raw and itchy patches of skin started to clear up within days (and test results proved a type of ringworm) so that's when I started to use the cream on a mouse.

    I did some further research online and found an article, explaining that the presence of mites on a mouse could cause the mouse to scratch and abrade the skin, allowing the ringworm to take hold. So I treated religiously for both the mites and ringworm. As I mentioned, it worked really well for that particular mouse but I later had two other mice with OCD scratching and the same treatment didn't have as good an effect.

    My latest ponderings are that maybe a certain amount of exposure to Ivermectin (mite treatment) suddenly sets a mouse off scratching. I always used to routinely treat the mice with Xeno 50-mini for mites and noticed that after the third or fourth time of using it, that was when several of the mice developed the condition. I suppose it's more likely that it was the mites building up a resistance to the Ivermectin but your mind does try to work overtime to find a cause.

    Lastly, I was worried too about the mice ingesting the Terbinafine cream but I only used a small amount and tried to occupy the mouse while it soaked into the skin. Yes the mice would try to lick it off but all three mice I tried it on didn't suddenly keel over and die, they all lived for many months after the treatment. I also got an oral fungal medication from the vet as I also worried that just the application of the cream was causing the mouse to scratch more.

    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    That is interesting and brilliant and thank you for taking the time to post. I think I may give it a try.
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited June 2016 Posts: 1,187
    It can be an exhaustive search dealing with this Sarah and your doing so well for your girls. Ann is right though, sometimes the simple approaches are the ones that work best. I know that coaltar rubbed over the skin of someone who has very bad eczema works wonders, but this is usually in a controlled area like a hospital. I wouldn`t suggest a wee mouse would tolerate or even survive having coaltar applied in such a way unless a vet recognised it as safe and animal based. x
    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930

    I thought it might be a good idea to find some of the old threads on OCD scratching. Luckily, Zany had collated them all together for easy reference here http://rodentsnest.com/discussion/2178/scratching-ocd-mutilation-threads/p1

    Talking of Rozlynne, has anyone heard from her lately, is she ok?

    Thanked by 1Sarahnash
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    Thank you AnnB, unfortunately the links all bounce back to rodentsnest, and fail, but I can search on the subject so will have a look through. 
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930
    Oh I'm sorry Sarah, I hadn't actually tried to open any of the threads.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    Hi all, Sabrina, Dylan and I went back to Bath Wednesday to see a vet dermatologist and ophthalmologist. We came away with different drugs - an anti nausea designed for dogs and cats drug which has other anti scratch benefits somewhat tested in mice. There will also be something else to apply topically which is antibiotic, anti fungal and steroidal. And a vitamin E supplement. Just need to persuade them to swallow the capsule :)
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
  • AnnBAnnB Mouse
    Posts: 930
    It sounds hopeful Sarah, fingers crossed that you can get them to take the meds.
  • SarahnashSarahnash Lemming
    Posts: 311
    The capsule was my attempt at humour. It is as big as their head ;) I slice it open and squeeze onto food. Goes down OK. The topical stuff you cannot get in UK so waiting for alternative. No change yet to the scratching. And also I have to give eye drops where each girl has scratched their eyes and caused trauma of some sort. Will take some advice from NuttySian on eye drops :)
    Mum to rattie boys Charlie and Bosley and wild boy mouse Wills.
    Mice in my heart and mind - Jill, Kate, Eve, Sabrina, Dylan, Kris, Abby, Kelly, Tiffany, Natalie, Alex and house mouse Harry Houdini
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