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Mice/How to helpp a very sick mouse


My 1 year old mouse Popcorn is really cold and limp. It almost seems like she is dead but still breathing. She's been like this for a few hours. She barely moves except when she jumps every ten minutes or so. I don't have my heating pad with me right now because I let someone borrow it. I'm planning on bringing her to the vet on Monday when they're open to probably be put to sleep if she's still alive. What do you think I should do until then?

Dear Fiona,

Hold her close against your body, inside your shirt. As long as you can. I have done this for 12-18 hours and saved mouse lives. It is a combination of the warmth and the love.

She doesn't have that much of a chance but this is the very best you can do. It is too late to try to get her medication now unless you have a 24 hour pet shop.

If she is still alive tomorrow start seeing if she will take a little soy yogurt. Send someone to get some tetracycline for fish from the pet store; instructions follow.

Kiss her and love her and let her last few hours be calm and loving. If you need to leave her alone for a little while, use a bag of frozen vegetables heated in the microwave as a heating pad.

The over-the-counter antibiotic that I use for myco is Tetracycline, which is available in the FISH section of your pet store or aquarium store.  It either comes in powder, tablet, or capsule form.  If it is a tablet, you will need to crush it into fine powder, which you can do with the back of one spoon against the front of another.  If it is a capsule you will empty the powder out of the capsule.  One capsule is the same as 1/4 flat teaspoon.

Take one capsule and mix it with a drop or two of water until you have a mustardy paste. Grab the mouse by the scruff (back) of the neck to open its mouth, and try to get a bit of the paste in the mouth. The mouse will struggle a lot and this may be impossible. In any case, smear some on the whiskers and sides, where it can easily wash it off and ingest it.

Put another capsule's worth in a large water bottle (10-12 oz), or half that in a small water bottle (4-6 oz), and that should be the only source of water for about 10 days. Shake it up well. Change it every other day. Cover the bottle with tin foil so no light can get in. Tetracycline reacts with light.

I wish her a gentle recovery or passing. She just needs you to be there for her.




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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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