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Mice/How to care for very sick mouse


My lil Rum
My lil Rum  
QUESTION: I have tried to find anything that is similar to this but they all seem to be different. My mouse is definitely ill. But I cant do anything until my check which isnt for a few more days.
He is a male, I dont know what type, I bought him and another female mouse about 5 days ago. The first day, they both did very well.  The next day my male, named Rum, was very calm.  He stayed on his sock majority of the day. Same for the next day. I assumed it was because he was adjusting to a new home.  Whiskey, female, has been active nonstop.  I noticed two days ago that Rum's testes were a bit redder than usual kind of like a bruise or a bite from Whiskey. I checked him to make sure he wasnt bleeding from a wound and then checked Whisky as well. Today, I got home from work, and my poor rum was bleeding from rectum and was breathing shallow.  I immediately transfered him to his own cage and cleaned out the shared cage.  I noticed he is very shakey, and has absolutely no strength to even lift himself over a half inch side to drink from a water dish. I wrapped him up in an old t-shirt cut up and held him for about 3 hours, and he seemed to start to become active.  I have just put him back in his cage with the t-shirt wrapped up. I am hoping its just a pertruded rectum. I cant hold him much cause I have other animals that need attention too. Just want some ideas to hopefully jump him back.  My mice are for my son and I dont want him to come back to a sick mouse. I know I havent had him long but he already has me by his little paws. Any helpful tips will be appreciated. I dont know if he will survive through the night. I have his cage by my bed for the night thanks.

ANSWER: Dear Heather,

I have to be honest. Rum doesn't have much of a chance. You did the right thing holding him. I have held a mouse nonstop from 12-24 hours and saved its life. But not everyone works at home and can do that. The reason it helps is a combination of the warmth and the love. I have been amazed at who I have saved that way, even for a poisoning.

Mice have such tiny volume for such large surface area, so their tiny insides have to work very hard to keep up with the warmth leaving from the skin. So if you take care of the keeping warm part, they have much more energy to fight the illness. Sometimes, I think, a sick mouse dies from the cold when it is sick, but I don't have the medical degree to back that up.

Anyway, as you say, you don't have the time to hold him all the time. There may, however, be times when if he were gently attached to your warm skin, say on your neck or chest, that you could add him to whatever quiet activity you are doing. The rest of the time he needs a heating pad set on low, under a towel, under his cage. It must be set up such that he can move off of it if he gets too warm.

You need to keep him hydrated. The best thing to do is to give him pedialyte (sold for babies, in the formula section) slightly warmed up, is a syringe (no needle) or eye dropper. Gatorade is very similar to Pedialyte as well. You can also give him rice milk or soy milk. It must be a little warm. If you can get him to eat a little something, give him cream of wheat or a little soft cheese or anything you can think of which will be easy to take in.

I am very sorry for the little guy. With no medical expertise all I can do is agree that he has some internal bleeding- something went wrong with one of his organs. Maybe he swallowed something sharp; it could also be an internal tumor which pressed too hard against something. I can't think of anything comforting at all, except that if you keep him warm, he may survive for the vet visit, and maybe something can be done. Oh, poor Rum. I am so sorry.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, Rum passed away the night after. He was able to drink and eat a bit though. I did get him into the vet and he said that it sounded like it was a protusion, but it also sound like he was fighting an illness.  He wouldnt give me an exact diagnosis because he said that Rum wasnt going to make it, he had already progressed to the point itd be a miracle for him to bounce back and didnt want to charge me for a visit that would result in losing Rum.  The vet did say that holding him for the warmth and making sure he was comfortable was the best for him at that point. He also set up a visit with Whiskey to make sure it wasnt a virus and to make sure she is healthy. Thank you again for the response Natasha.  It was helpful.

Dear Heather,

I am so sorry about little Rum. It is so hard to lose a little mouse. But I am glad Whiskey is starting out with a vet visit and clean bill of health.

Thank you so much for the update.



PS I had a mouse named Brandy once.  


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I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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