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Mice/Orphan mouse didn't make it.


QUESTION: Hi Natasha! Another follow up type question : ) We have decided to keep her and named her. Isabella is doing great and 5 days older than when we found her so I'm guessing almost 3 weeks now. She is moving around her container well and is nibbling on crushed pieces of gerbil food. She really loves eating cracker pieces soaked in the goats milk and also infant corn cereal. She has a small water bottle cap of water also that is kept in at all times. 3-4 times a day I put in caps of the goat's milk & corn cereal and take her out to hold and pet in my hand. She is peeing and pooping fine also. My question is how now to handle her food needs, does she still need the baby mushes or more regular food pieces. She does love her stuffed pink bunny 'friend' and curls up next to it when napping. I start my new job Monday and she will be left alone from 8-5pm ish. What else can I do or leave in her cage so that she is fine for that time. She is left overnight with just the seed pieces/water cap for the last 5 days and has done fine. One last thing :) I am not on Facebook but would dearly love to be able to ask questions of you on here if I may? Also, the pic. attached has her with her eyes closed but her eyes are open and bright normally. Thank you!!

ANSWER: Dear Tracy,

I am glad she is doing so well. Let her decide what to eat. It is fine to be weaned at 3 weeks. Get her some mouse seed and leave it in the cage. She will be eating it soon enough

Sure, you may ask me questions. Here's one answer: yes, you should get her a fancy mouse friend or two. Two is far better because if her only friend dies, she will not only be heartbroken but also lonely, which combination can lead to depression, illness, and mites. Even if she turns out to be a boy, they can't mate, so it is fine. Get little babies as soon as you can. If your pet store carries only older mice, wait till she is bigger.

I am jealous... A hand raised field mouse.. Someone was actually going to give me one last week that they had raised and I was so excited, and then she lost her two days before... :( And you got lucky twice! :)

squeaks n giggles,


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

QUESTION: Natasha I am so devastated! I got up this morning to check on her and she had passed away. I had her in my hands last night around 9 and she had some of her milk mush and snuggled. She was doing so great and at 3 weeks or so seemingly had passed the danger time. I am wracked with guilt that I did or didn't do something for her. I had really grown attached to her and am just crushed. I just can't shake the feeling I did something wrong. Anyway, I am very grateful for your advice and support. Thank you, Tracy

Dear Tracy,

I am so sorry. Those little guys just curl up inside your heart and snuggle. The thing to remember is, there is always the possibility that the reason you found her was that her mom abandoned her. Mother mice will abandon their pups if they know there is something wrong with them. So, many of the infant pups people find didn't have a good beginning and maybe never had a chance.

You did the right things. The only thing I was worried about was not feeding her at night. Mice have super quick metabolisms. But by this time, you were leaving her food in her cage, and so it seemed that had not hurt.

They almost always do pass away put of the blue. If rough genetic evolution interests you- it makes sense because since the mother mouse abandons a sick or defective pup, it is in the pup's interest not to seem sick until it is going to die anyway, exactly like a mouse outside the nest, who can't show illness to the hawk.

I am sorry. :( .




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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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