Pet Mice Health Care

Bald Spot, Scaliness, Itch

Bald spots. scaliness and itching usually indicate ringworm. It is best treated with ringworm ointment or with use of griseofulvin at the rate of 2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight.

Congenital Absence of Tail

This condition is noticed at birth and is a hereditary problem. Nothing can be done to change it. However, it will not affect the mouse.


Sudden death in mice is often preceded by an acute enteritis with diarrhea. Separate ill animals and commence antibiotic therapy (Tetracyclines 2-5 milligrams per ml in drinking water) in all survivors.


Depression in mice is often accompanied by hunched-up posture, roughened coat, conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, lethargy, death or stunting in surviving mice. Young mice are more commonly affected.
There are non-specific signs of septicemia, and any latent disease can develop if the animal is stressed. Theusual causes are Salmonella, mouse hepatitis virus, neovirus and heavy parasitism.
Treat with antibiotics such as Chloromycetin (at the rate of 2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight) and hyperchlorinate the drinking water (10 p.p.m.)


Diarrhea when accompanied by dark eyes and crust around the nose is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Bacterial diarrhea can be treated with Gentamycin injection 2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight daily for seven days. The cage should be cleaned twice daily.
Another treatment is with a bland medication such as Kaomagma used at a rate of 0.5 millilitre three times daily, but this is not generally as effective. Chronic diarrhea is usually caused by coccidia or intestinal parasites. Coccidiosus (a protozoan disease) is diagnosed by examining the droppings under a microscope. Treatment is by adding sulphur drugs to the drinking water
Worms can be eradicated by dosing with Thiabendazole, 5milligrams per 100 grams body-weight once weekly for three weeks.

Head Tilt

Head tilt is usually caused by middle ear infection. The besttreatment is Gentamycin at the rate of 2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight.


Pneumonitis causes sneezing, a runny nose, pawing at thenose, and a loss of hair on the chin. The mouse has a fasterrespiratory rate. Hair is unkempt, back is arched, and there generalised depression. Treat with Chloromycetin orally, milligrams per 100 grams body-weight twice daily for fivedays or Clavulox. Keep the cage clean.

Prolapsed Rectum

Usually mice are three weeks or older. It is caused by para-sites. Dose with Ivermectin, at the rate of 50-100milligrams per kilogram body-weight, in the drinking water. Use medication seven days on, seven days off, seven days on.


This fungal skin condition is characterized by loss of hair. It is highly contagious and affected mice should be either destroyed or separated for treatment. The treatment involves oral administration of griseofulvin (2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight) for 42 days and the application of ringworm ointment to all affected areas of the skin.
In addition all bedding should be destroyed and the mouse-house washed with an anti-fungal solution.

Salivary Gland Enlargement

The most obvious sign is swelling of the neck area. The most common cause is a virus and the treatment is cortisone and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.


Scratching around the head and ears usually results in abrasions, sores, scabs and bald spots. For a definite diagnosis the vet will need to do a skin scraping to detect most common cause which is microscopic mites. These can be treated by hanging a Dichlorvos pest strip in the cage or powdering the mice daily with pyrethrum flea powder, Ivermectin or Ectodex dips at low concentration.


This presents non-specific signs, but may include depression, hunched-up posture, roughened coat, conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, lethargy, death, and stunting in surviving animals. It can occur in any age group but the young are more commonly affected. The most common cause is salmonella bacteria. Treatment includes hyper-chlorination of drinking water (10 p.p.m.) and Tetra-cyclines (2-5 milligrams per ml of water).

Skin Disorders

Scaly patches on the skin, or grey warty lesions on the tail, ears or nose are caused by mange from mites. Administer a benzylbenzoate lotion or dip the mouse completely in a Malathion solution diluted as per directions. Repeat weekly for three occasions. Hang a Dichlorvos pest strip on the cage for three days on, three days off, three days on. Ivermectin or Ectodex dips at low concentration.
Hairless areas with an associated dermatitis can be treated by washing with a medicated shampoo to remove surface debris and then apply either an antibiotic skin cream three times daily, or a gentian violet, mercurochrome dye twice daily until symptoms resolve. Affected mice are best quarantined to prevent disease from spreading.
In some cases, it is best to eradicate individual affected mice because of the expense of diagnosis and the difficultyof effectively treating the complaint.


Sloughing of a dead tail or dead digits, sometimes accompanied by small pustules, indicates a pox virus. In large colonies a vaccine can be made. Otherwise, place the mice on antibiotics (chloramphenicol at the rate of 2 milligrams per 100 grams body-weight).


Sneezing, chattering, labored breathing, nasal discharge, pawing at the nose, bleeding from the nose, an unkempt coat, arching of the back, generalized depression and conjunctivitis can all be part of the one disease syndrome. It is important to seek veterinary advice and treat with long term antibiotics. The preferred antibiotics being Tetracycline 2-5 milligrams to each ml of water or a Sulphamethazine 0.02% solution. Gentamycin or Chloromycetin.


Sores around ears and scabs and wounds randomly pos-itioned on the last two-thirds of the tail are usually caused by fighting. Prevent these by separating the males. Sores can be treated with an antibiotic skin cream.

Tail Disorders

A red or swollen tail usually indicates gangrene caused by insufficient humidity. The treatment is to amputate the tail above the constriction and increase humidity in the cage to 50 per cent. The humidity can be raised by placing shallow bowls of water or wet absorbent paper in the mouse cage.

Teeth Disorders

Overgrowth of incisor teeth is caused by insufficient roughage. Trim the teeth to allow for normal wear and add roughage to the diet. Add a wood block to the cage for chewing.


Wounds If a cage is too small for the number of occupants, fighting and injuries may occur. Male mice caged together may attack each other savagely, especially if there is inadequate bedding to supply a refuge for the weaker animals. Over-crowding in the cage must be reduced, and fighting can be prevented by separating the male mice. Where minor cuts and scratches occur apply mercurochrome or triple dye to the affected areas. Sores and wounds can be treated withan antibiotic skin cream. Veterinary attention may be necessary if the wound is of a more serious nature.