The Fun Mouse: Mouse Information: Mouse Emergency Kit
Herein is a list of things you should have on hand when caring for mice. It is advisable to have all supplies on hand before acquiring mice as problems can arise any time. None of these supplies, nor their use, are to take the place of prompt vet care. They are only here to help your mouse in the time it takes to get to the vet. Immediate vet care is always advised!
Find a pocket pet veterinarian and have their number on hand at all times. You need to have a vet picked out before acquiring a mouse. In an emergency, there is no time to search for one. You need one picked out and available in a moments notice. If you already have a vet who handles any other critter you might have, ask them if they are able to handle pocket pets. If they are not able to see mice, or you don’t have a regular vet, try searching the yellow pages phone book and/or using switchboard.com. When looking for a vet, have a list of questions prepared because not all vets are able to care for pocket pets adequately. Below are a few of the questions to get you started. This is only a base point, please ask them about all concerns you may have!
- 1, “Do you handle pocket pets?”
- If they don’t, thank them for their time and move on to another vet.
- 2, “Do you have the equipment and are able to perform surgeries on mice if needed?”
- If they can’t, find one that can.
- 3, “Are your vets available for emergencies, day or night, including holidays?”
- As before, if they can’t, find one that can.
- 4, “What is your standard office fee and emergency fee?”
- Understand that sometimes you get what you pay for. If a vet charges a lot less than others, beware. While it might help your pocket book, it might not help your pocket pet! Finding a reasonable vet that is able to care for your pet is most important.
Towel, water, & soap
To clean a wound, use mild, unscented, antibacterial soap and warm (but not hot!) water on a towel. There is no need for rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as antibacterial soap is more mild and will do the job just as well. Never use bleach to clean wounds! For eye “gook”, use a towel and warm water to cleanse (no soap!). Eye infections need veterinary care as well as any open wound. Towel, soap, and water is only to clean it up. It is not a replacement for prompt veterinary care.
This is good to have on hand in case one of your mice gets injured. Neosporin® will help prevent/kill infection as well as relive pain (so long as you get Neosporin® with pain reliever). You can apply it to a wound, rubbing it in extremely well. Always clean excess off so your pet doesn’t ingest it. Your mouse will likely hate the first application, however, they generally learn to love it as they know it helps. Mice that have been treated with Neosporin® 2+ applications often lean into it as it sooths them. Apply Neosporin® 2+ times a day. Any open wound can become infected easily. See a vet for prescription antibiotics right away.
This can greatly help chronic scratches, especially those with hot spots caused by allergies. It is an antihistamine which helps allergic reactions and therefore helps relive itch. Stronger antihistamines can be obtained via a vet when needed. If you have a mouse with an open wound from scratching, get on it right away, before it becomes chronic scratching! This can be incurable if left untreated. As with any open wound, it can become infected easily. See a vet for prescription antibiotics.
Flour or Cornstarch
Plain baking flour or cornstarch is great for stopping bleeding, should something happen that causes your mouse to bleed and not clot fast enough. It is perfectly safe for them and is painless when applying. Again, any open wound can become infected easily. See a vet for prescription antibiotics right away.
KMR, Oatmeal, & Rice
KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) can save lives! It literally works miracles! If you have a dehydrated mouse, one that has lost weight suddenly, or one that isn’t acting well, mix up some KMR for them. You can mix KMR with either oatmeal or cooked rice (you can use any type of rice, however, mice tend to prefer white). Use warm water to mix it into paste form. Serve warm but not hot! Make sure you replace it often as it will go bad if left for long periods of time. If your mouse has any of these symptoms, you need to seek veterinary care immediately to find out what is wrong and have him or her treated. If you breed, you will also need KMR on hand in case you are forced to hand raise bubs.
Gatorade® contains electrolytes which can help bodily fluid function properly. If a mouse is dehydrated, electrolytes will help boost them. Electrolytes also make the animal feel thirsty, making them want to drink more. The nice taste of Gatorade® also helps them want more, in turn it hydrates them better. If your mouse is dehydrated or has diarrhea, diluted Gatorade® is most commonly recommended by vets. You still need to see a vet if your mouse is dehydrated or ill. If your mouse is this bad, you need a vet as soon as possible! Vets can also give your mouse fluids (under the skin) to give them the added boost they need. In addition, if your mouse has wet tail, he/she needs a vet immediately! Wet tail, as well as dehydration for any reason, can kill within 24 hours.
If your mouse becomes chilled, place a heating pad on the lowest setting, under a towel, and then under 1/4 of their tank. Never place a heating pad directly in contact with your mouse! Make sure the mouse can easily get off of it if he or she becomes too hot. Also check the heating pad often to insure it doesn’t get too hot at any time. Mice can over heat quickly! All a mouse needs is a little warmth, not extreme heat. It also helps to hold your mouse close to you, to warm him or her up. If your mouse is too lethargic to move, do not place them on the part of the tank over the pad as they will not be able to move off of it if they become too hot. In this case, using your body heat to warm them up is recommended. Human body heat works great when getting their temperature back to where it should be.
I also recommend non-electrical heating pads, such as air activated heating pads. These can help in an emergency, such as the electricity going out in your home making it so electrical heating pads are of no good. These will help ill mice on a moments notice as well as keeping mice warm if the electricity/heat goes out in your home. If your mouse looses body temperature for seemingly no reason or is lethargic, you need to see a vet right away to find the cause and help the mouse.