Mice/abandoned baby mouse died of a seizure
QUESTION: Hi Natasha,
I really really REALLY need help! My mouse just had babies a few weeks ago, there were 6 of them. Well today I went to go check on them and only one of them are alive, the mom and dad ate the rest. I took the last baby out of the cage to warm her up, it was like the mom completely forgot about her. The baby was shivering cold and she kept nibbling on my fingers like she's hungry. She has fur and her eyes just opened 2 days ago. I'm giving her bread and water because her teeth aren't strong enough to eat the other mice's pellets. I dont know what else to feed her. Is seperating her from the mom this early okay? I don't know what else to do, I really really don't want her dying too. :(
ANSWER: Dear Mandi,
Precious is not nearly old enough to eat real food. You now have the very important but very hard job of nursing this little pup every two hours around the clock. Really every two hours. She will need to be nursed for at least another week or more.
She also needs some real nutrients. The best thing to nurse mouse pups with is kitten milk replacement (KMR). For tonight can you at least get some soy milk or soy infant replacement formula? You also need an electrolyte solution such as pedialyte.
You will also need to set her up a warm home with a heating pad on low as described in the following videos: This link leads to a woman's youtube page who is very experienced in orphan care. There are ten very short videos. I recommend watching all ten, because she deals with some issues later you might encounter earlier. Watch the first one to learn how to set up the cage and feed; then you can watch the others a little later after tending to Precious' immediate needs.
You will first feed her a mixture of 90% pedialyte/ 10% formula, because she is dehydrated. After two feedings, change the concentration to 80-20; after two more 70-30 then 60-40 and then 50-50 (or as directed in the video; it might not be exactly the same).
You can use a tiny syringe with no needle, or an eyedropper, or even a small paintbrush to feed her. The formula should be warm. You will give her little drop by little drop. As you will see in the videos, you should expect her to refuse when she is near full and you should give her a brief rest and try again. But don't overstuff her. And go slowly-- if you ever see formula come out of her nose you are forcing it on her, and it can get into her lungs and cause pneumonia.
After feeding you will take your pinky or Q tip and very gently rub her little abdomen and genitals to help her go.
Although this is a big job, you will have the most wonderful sweet mouse when you are done. She will repay you her whole life.
I wish you and her the very best. You won't get a lot of sleep in the next week, but it will be worth it. You probably want to get someone to help.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Natasha, Precious didn't make it, she had a seizure early this morning. Thank you for your help though, I really appreciate it. Better luck next time I suppose.
Thank you so much for the update.
Although it seems like the baby seized and died because it was abandoned, it is possible that the baby was abandoned because it had whatever form of epilepsy mice get.
Mother mice can often tell when there is something wrong with a pup, and it makes no biological or evolutionary sense for her to put care and energy into them. So she kills them and, partially because they have nutritional value, and partly to dispose of the bodies, she eats them. This would explain why the whole litter was eaten.
In any case this mouse must never be bred again.
Again, thank you for the update. I really appreciate it. I am sorry about little Precious. Hopefully there will be no next time.