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Mice/Orphaned mouse suddenly acting funny


I saved an orphan field mouse about 4 days ago (I live in Charleston, SC). I think he fell out of a tree. He was then snatched up by my dog (who did no damage to him that I can tell). I picked him up, made him a box, and put him back where he was found in hopes that his mother would come rescue him. The next morning he was still there, so I decided to take him in and help him. I have been feeding him the kitten formula from the dropper.

The first morning I had him, after I fed him, he seemed to be doing a lot better. He was more active and moving around a LOT more, whereas the day before it seemed as if he was about to die.

ANYWAY, the concern is this: Today I have noticed that the reason he wobbles when he walks is because I think he has a problem with his front left shoulder/arm. I knew he had a funny gait to him, but I couldn't figure out exactly what. Now I do. I'm concerned that it has gotten worse. Additionally, today, I have noticed he keeps propping his butt up and sticking his nose face down into the ground and/or cage (no matter where I put him). I find this to be strange behavior, and I am trying to figure out what is going on with him so that I can give him the help he needs! Originally I planned on releasing him back into the wild, but now that I see he has the problem with his arm I don't think it's a good idea (Another thing - when I have taken him outside today to see if he would run off - he just lays there and doesn't move, almost as if he is trying to go to sleep - whereas the past few days I have done this he has hopped/wobbled back from wherever I put him and climbed back up my hand/leg, etc.)

Do you know what is possibly wrong with him? Do you have any suggestions? I have tried researching and have found no answer. The strangest thing to me is the seemingly sudden onset of arm troubles and, additionally, the way he keeps propping his butt up (either with his hind legs or with an object in the cage) and putting his face straight down into the ground! Not sure what to do! I want this little buddy to survive!

Dear Anne,

A tree is a very strange place for a mouse nest; but if he fell that far, you can imagine what kind of horrible internal injuries he may have, which may be manifesting themselves only now. Another possibility is that the reason he was pushed out of the nest was that his mom knew there was something genetically wrong with him. And the third thing I thought of is that it is extremely remotely possible that a baby have a stroke- but the chances are very small.

I am pretty sure it is the first or second. There is nothing you can do except give him the best care and most love as possible. You might want to use fleece for bedding, if he might hurt himself by putting his face in something else; you will find it will have to be changed quite often.

I certainly hope he is OK. My best wishes for luck and health to him. Certainly if he survives he will be a wonderful and very loving pet.




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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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