Common Pet Mice and Rat Health Issues and Illnesses

mice illness

Owning a pet mouse or rat is very popular these days with many people. Before you decide to purchase one for a pet of your own, it’s good to know what some of the most common  pet mice and rat health issues are and how to treat them as a responsible owner.

Excessive Scratching

This is actually very close to the same issue with dogs and cats. If a pet mouse or rat is not regularly examined and given baths, parasites like mites or lice may find a perfect environment in their fur to feed and nest. This causes your pet mouse or rat to scratch them self excessively, which will damage their skin if left untreated.

You may use tape to cover the rear feet of your pet rodent to keep him from using his claws as you treat him medicine your veterinarian gives you. You must also thoroughly clean the entire habitat, and throw away all the current bedding to replace with new. It may take a good two to three weeks to treat this issue fully, since it’s tough to get rid of all the eggs, and they will hatch again within that time. Re-treatment is almost always necessary.

Respiratory Infections

This is, by far, the most prevalent illness that mice and rats are susceptible to that may even lead to their early demise. It is the leading reason for death in pet rodents. Symptoms often include the sound of wheezing when they breathe, as well as a regular sneezing. The most often cause of the worst type of respiratory infections is Mycoplasma pulmonis. Treating mice and rats for these types of infections include oral antibiotics. It’s important to catch the symptoms right away and seek immediate veterinarian treatment. Some infections, such as strep, may cause the death of your pet mouse or rat within three days of contracting it.

The best treatment is to never allow them to get a respiratory infection in the first place. Many of these infections find a root cause in ammonia that gets built up in a pets’ habitat if it is not cleaned regularly and thoroughly. The fumes contained in the ammonia build up weaken and damage their fragile lungs, which opens them up for any viral or bacterial infection that may present itself.

Lumps, Growths and Tumors

This is the second leading reason behind the death of pet rats and mice. If you find a lump while handling your pet rodent, immediately seek veterinarian care to have it examined. It may be an abscess that can be drained and treated with follow-up medications. If the abscess refills again, it may be a tumor, which requires further professional attention. Tumors are treatable with medications, if they are caught in time.



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