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Can Pet Mice Get and Carry Fleas?

Although fleas are incredibly small, there is always a chance for them to infest your house and find your pet mouse. But they are not the only pets that are in danger in your household. Cats and dogs can get the same exact fleas that mice do.

This is why it is important to keep dogs or cats away from your mice when they have fleas. For these little nuisances, it is not a problem to jump from one location to the other. When your fancy mouse carries them, it can cause intense irritation.

Moreover, they can bring out various allergies, even though your pet was just fine before the fleas were there. Fleas can be divided in two categories, one of them being the cat flea and the other the dog flea. Nevertheless, they can infest your pet mouse as well.

In this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about fleas and how they affect your mouse. Then we are going to share some tips when it comes to getting rid of them.

How Do You Know if Your Pet Mouse Has Fleas?

If you suspect that your fancy mouse has fleas, then it is best to start grooming. While doing so, you are going to see whether your pet has it or not. Although fleas are tiny, they are still visible to the naked eye. You are going to see many small brown bugs that are up to 2 millimeters long.

These bugs have an elongated body and they are rather quick at moving and jumping as well. You may not find any fleas while grooming but if their waste is there, then your pet has it for sure. Look for tiny dark spots on the skin that come off when you run a toothbrush or something similar through them.

If you are not sure whether your fancy mouse has fleas after finding those spots, you can test it as well. Remove them with a fine brush or com of some kind and rub that flea dirt into a wet tissue. If those were indeed fleas, the waste will turn red, indicating digested blood.

Signs that can be visible on your pet mouse include reddening of skin, bold spots and thickened skin especially on the ears. Although fleas don’t necessarily cause mice to be irritated or scratch themselves, it can be another sign if you see such behavior.

What do Fleas Do to Pet Mice?

The main thing that fleas do is they feed the blood of your fancy mouse. Those tiny bugs live under their coat where it is warm and cozy and they can feed on blood whenever they want to. Since they are very little, it is not that straightforward to get rid of them.

Although they can’t fly, they don’t even need to because they can jump from one animal to the other with ease. When they bite, it can be especially painful for your mouse considering that they often get bitten by multiple fleas at the same time.

The damage they can do to the skin and the hair loss they cause are both things that should be stopped as soon as possible. In case your pet mouse feels skin irritation, he might scratch himself, potentially causing secondary infection as well.

The worst thing about fleas is that they can cause severe skin allergies and anemia. The latter happens when there are so many fleas in the fur of your mouse that your pet is losing a lot of blood. Not to mention that fleas can get in the mouth of the mouse.

In that case, they can be infected by tapeworms if the fleas carry them, which they often do.

How to Get Rid of Fleas?

First off, you need to perform some thorough cleaning in the mouse cage. Everything in the cage and the cage itself has to be wiped with detergent and then rinsed. Change the bedding and wipe every surface around the cage as well. Cage cleaning has to be done weekly, while you need to wipe around the cage every day.

There are also pet-safe and indoor-safe pesticides that can help you in this process. Since flea eggs can be anywhere, vacuuming around the cage is also important. Everything that the vacuum cleaner soaks up has to be thrown away in a bag before those eggs get hatched in there.

Even with frequent cleaning, it can take weeks to fully remove fleas. When it comes to your fancy mouse, it is best to take him to the veterinarian. You are probably going to get advice on which shampoo you should buy.

Once you get the medical shampoo, you should use it with a sponge and make sure that none of it gets into the ears, mouth or eyes of your pet. The whole bathing has to be gentle and you will also need to wait until the shampoo takes effect.

Then, you can use a flea comb with the combination of the topical flea treatment recommended by your vet to slowly kill and remove those nuisances.

Can a Mouse Die of Fleas Infestation?

If you notice it too late and there are a lot of fleas on your pet mouse, then it can potentially die. Since fleas feed on the blood of your pet, too many of them doing that can lead to anemia. Your pet will lose so much blood that its condition will become critical.

Over time, more and more white blood cells get out of the system, making the mouse weak and lethargic. If you check his gums and it is pale, it means that your pet is suffering from anemia.

Can You Get Fleas from a Pet Mouse?

What you should really worry about when your pet mouse has fleas is the risk of getting tapeworms. These nuisances can be transmitted from one pet to the other and from pets to humans as well. But you are most likely not going to come in contact with fleas because they are interested in animals that have fur.

Therefore, they are typically going to infest the cats, dogs and rodents that can be found in the household.

Wrapping Up

Fleas can indeed be a huge nuisance once they make it to your household. They are incredibly effective at finding pets in your house and reproducing. Once they see a furry pet, they jump right in and start feeding on its blood.

With consistent effort and by following the advice of your veterinarian, you can get rid of fleas quite effectively. Just make sure to check on your fancy mouse every now and then because they often don’t show signs of flea infection.

avatar I’m Peter King, writer and editor of this blog. I’m a lifelong animal advocate and volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. On this blog I help people learn about pet mice. As a responsible pet owner, you should learn about your pet’s need before getting it. If you have any question or need help, please leave your comment below.

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