You are here:

Mice/Orphan mouse gaping mouth is fine.


After eating
After eating  
Hi and thank you for this service! I've learned so much reading the information here; it's invaluable!
I have an orphaned baby possibly deer mouse; eyes just starting to open. Have had the little one for a week today. Here are my questions please: 1) baby recently started throwing head back w/mouth wide open while feeding; he still eats; just started this new odd behavior. He suckles warm soy-based formula mixed w/pedialyte and some water from a Qtip. He's fed every 2 to 21/2 hours in warm place. I massage his sides and watch for bloat. He poops fine, too and does the mouse pur. What is the mouth/head behaviour? 2) Do I need to stop mixing formula w/pedialyte soon? He always looks dehydrated a bit. I add bottled water to it at times as well. I only use it before it expires too. Is bottled water safe for mixing or should I use distilled? 3) I put some coconut oil on his dry skin-- didn't find any mention that it was bad anywhere-- do you know if it's ok? 4) he doesn't seem to be bigger after a week; his fur is fluffier. Is this normal given his situation?  Btw I found him in the garden w/4 siblings-- 2 already dead; I took the other 2 and the other 1 died. I believe it was from exposure.
Thanks for your help!!! :)

Amendment (2) exactly what I had hoped. Aud, the woman who made the orphan videos, says hers did it too, between 1-2 weeks old. So it is ok.

Do start feeding him with an eyedropper. I think he is starving.

Amendment (1): VERY good point by one person. She says she can't imagine a pup getting enough to eat off of a Q tip (a Q tip worries me due to cotton fibers) and that that would be why it is not growing; and maybe cause for the behavior due to hunger.. Try an eyedropper.

Dear Aundria,

I can tell you that your orphan is not the only orphan that has shown this behavior, which to me suggests it is okay. I do not, however, know what it is. Usually people don't tell me their guy lived until long enough after that I can't locate the question to find out what the issue had been. But this has certainly come up before.

I have just formed a small group of people on Facebook who have successfully nursed wild orphans, some on my advice and some in other circumstances. I put out the question of their similar experience, a few hours ago, and am hoping someone replies.  I will amend this answer, and you will get a notification, if and when they do.

I would recommend  you not add any water to the formula: just pedialyte. if the pup tends to seem dehydrated, keep the mixture at 50-50.

Rather than apply oil to his skin, put a drop of olive oil in his formula every other feeding.

He should be growing. It isn't a very good sign that he hasn't grown in a week. They can stop for a few days but a week seems awfully long. However, there is nothing to be done about it, and he has survived the week.

Have you taken a look at the videos at the link (URL) in my profile? It is a series of ten orphan mouse raising videos 1/10 to 10/10. I believe you learn in the first one how to give him a bath. It certainly looks like he needs one!

Are you on Facebook? If you are, let me add you to the message thread to talk about wild orphans. Assuming this guy makes it, you will be able to stay on the thread to help the next mouse person. You will need to friend me, Natasha Millikan, and tell me who you are. I am going to ask the person who made the videos if she will join the thread too.

Best of luck. If anyone has anything to say about the behavior, I will let you know right away-- or if you join the thread you will be ale to read it and ask about yourself.


Natasha Millikan (the only one on Facebook)  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

©2017 All rights reserved.