Posted: January 29, 2014, 4:10 p.m. EST
Healthy mice move around and are curious about their surroundings. A sick mouse will sit hunched in a corner.
Q: Our white mouse’s eye is seemingly OK, but the skin around it seems to be making her eye close a bit. Her size is also much smaller than our other mouse. She is sleeping a lot, seems weak and her coat is ruffled. She is alert enough when we pick her up, but we are worried. Can you provide any guidance?
A: What you are describing likely can be an infection that is most visible to you because of how it is affecting the eye of your pet mouse. When eyes are infected, the tissue around the eye becomes swollen and that causes the eye to appear smaller, and the lids tend to shut. There can also be redness, discharge, and crusting around the eye or eyes too.
But what you are seeing could be the tip of the iceberg. There may be an infection in the upper respiratory system that is also affecting the eyes. When pet mice are sick with a severe infection, they sit hunched in a corner. They do not move, do not eat and do not drink. They do not have the energy to groom themselves, and their coat looks ruffled and unkempt. They look sick because they are sick.
The only way to help your mouse and determine exactly what is wrong is to visit a mouse-savvy-veterinarian. If this is an infection, there are some safe antibiotics that can be prescribed for your mouse, and you will be amazed at how quickly she will turn around. Of course, the reason you need to visit your veterinarian is that possibly something else is going on that can only be diagnosed by an examination.
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