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Mice/baby mice


I have five baby mice their eyes are open for the most part but three have one eye closed and show signs of being sick.  The two that are not sick are up running around.  Did I take them away from mom too soon?  What can I do to make them all well again?  I put the sick ones back in with mom did I do the right thing?

Hi Madison,

I don't recommend separating pups from mom unless it's absolutely required before four weeks, or when the pups have been spotted drinking on their own from a water bottle and eating reliably.  Until this point they are still growing, nursing, and would need kitten milk feedings every few hours if they don't have access to mom for nutrition and hydration.  It typically takes pups much longer to figure out the water bottle than solid foods, so this is usually the last step in weaning.  How old are these guys?

I don't know if you have been feeding them, how you have been caring for them, or the conditions they are living in, so I can't guess at what might be the cause of their sickly appearance, but yes, I do think that putting them back with mom is a good idea.  As long as she is okay with them, she can have all five pups back until they are caring for themselves 100 percent.

You also don't mention if the three with one eye closed had them open in the past or not - eyes do not always open at the same rate (usually around 10-14 days old), so don't worry if one hasn't opened yet.  Don't force it - it will open on its own in a couple of days.  If they had both eyes open before but do not currently - do the eyes or the skin around them appear crusted, leaking, swollen, red, or irritated?  Sometimes this can be a sign of infection, and changing the cage material or even the type of cage (plenty of ventilation helps keep the air clear and fresh, preserving your bedding longer - it should never smell) can make a drastic difference.  If they do appear irritated or swollen in any of the ways I mentioned, please write me back with some more details and we can review how to help their eyes feel better until they have a chance to heal up on their own.

Best of luck, and please let me know if I can help with anything else, or if anything needs clarifying.  If you'd like, write me a followup with some more details and any other questions you have and I'd love to help fill in any gaps.



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I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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