American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2010 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Baytril to Pregnant/Nursing Rats?; Scratching Mouse; Rat Poison Transfer to Babies?
Baytril to Pregnant/Nursing Rats?

From our files, e-mail
QCan Baytril be given to a pregnant or nursing doe?

ABaytril can affect cartilage formation, and should not be given to pregnant animals. In dogs and cats it is not given to animals under 6 months of age for this reason. The growth plates in dogs and cats close by 6 months.

Here is an interesting dilemma: the growth plates in rats and mice never close, so how does Baytril affect the growth plates? I will contact the drug manufacturer.

Update: I could not find anything new regarding Baytril and pregnant rats. My suggestions would be that it would depend upon how sick the pregnant rat was and the risk versus the benefit of treatment.

Regarding the growth plates: No, I couldn’t find any information. The benefit in adult rats or mice with a severe Mycoplasma pneumonia infection outweighs the risk. In general, as in humans, it is preferred to avoid giving any medications that may harm the developing fetus(es) unless the mother is at risk of dying. Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M. Ph.D.

Scratching Mouse

David B. Smith, Jr., e-mail
QWhy are there no medicines for pet mice here in the U.S. like there are in England? I’ve been baby-sitting a fancy mouse, Mr. Whiskers, which was left with me by a friend who is going to be gone until next June. It is scratching itself until it has raw spots. No vets within miles of here have a clue about pet mice, so, upon advice found on the Internet, I got rid of the pine shavings bedding my friend had Mr. Whiskers in, and went to aspen and paper crumbles a month ago. It has not helped. I also brushed Mr. Whiskers gently over a piece of white paper and looked for mites with a 10X lens on the paper, but see nothing.

Another Internet tip suggested trying oil from a vitamin E capsule put directly on the skin but it’s too thick to spread out over the skin and the mouse went into a fit of scratching to get it off, making things worse. This little guy is going to die if I can’t get help.

Unlike the U.K. which has lots of over-the-counter mouse products at pet stores by a company called Johnson’s, the U.S. has nothing readily available, and vets who know about pocket pets would require trips to big cities like St. Louis, Indianapolis, or Chicago, over 300 to 500 miles per round-trip. Can you help before it is too late or put me in touch with a pocket-pet vet who I might talk to on the phone?

ASorry to hear about Mr.Whiskers and his itching problem. Sounds like your mouse has either parasites or a genetic condition. If it is mites or lice, then a couple treatments of Ivermectin by a vet should take care of it. This product needs a vet to administer to get the right dosage. In the past we used kitten flea powder, but this does not always work depending on the parasite and the severity of the problem.

There is a genetic condition seen in some curly-haired mice (sometimes also in other types) that causes itching and the mouse to scratch itself raw. Many treatments have been tried over the years by many different breeders and nothing seems to help these mice and the mouse has to be euthanized. Breeding against this is the only course of action. Any mouse with itchy problems should have treatments tried first before considering any drastic measure.

The best thing is to try to find a vet that can look at the mouse to diagnose the problem and prescribe the best treatment as there are both topical and injectable forms of treatments for parasites depending on which type of parasite you are dealing with.

As far as finding a vet, my suggestion is to get the latest Critters magazine [Ed. Note: no longer in production; check Amazon or eBay for copies. 6-30-14; has a PDF list of vets]. Most all pet shops have them. In the back they have an extensive list of vets all over the country and lists what kind of small animal they treat. You can also try the Association of Exotic Animal Veterinarians at Also, the Rat Fan Club has lists of vets on their web site and at (you would have to find out if they also treat mice). You can also try contacting your local humane societies/animal shelters to see if they have an exotic animal/pocket pet vet referral near you.

Hope this helps and you are able to get Mr. Whiskers the treatment he needs! Karen Robbins

Rat Poison Transfer to Babies?

Phone call to Karen Robbins
QI just had an interesting phone call that made me think of this question: if a nursing rat eats rat poison and then dies, does any of the poison pass through the milk to the nursing kids for the little bit she nurses them before dying? Is there any adverse affect to the rat kids? (Phone call was about a wild rat.)

AYes, I believe the poison gets into the milk so that it can specifically kill the babies too. Carmen Jane Booth, D.V.M., Ph.D. *

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June 30, 2014