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Mice/orphaned mouse

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Question
Hi,

This past Sunday I found a mouse in my house.  Our cat got the mother and this little guy is the only baby we found.  He is covered with fur and barely moved.  His eyes were closed on Sunday morning, but open on Sunday night.  I went and bought kitten replacement food and fed it to him with an eyedropper, although he didn't seem to want water from a dropper.  He slept most of Sunday.  Monday I took him to work with me so I could feed him during the day and keep an eye on him.  He is now very active, jumping around and seems to want out of the little acrylic cage I got for him.  He is eating some dry bread and I'm still giving him the kitten formula.  I put a carrot in his house a few min. ago.  He does have teeth.  I cannot keep him as a pet because I have two cats that know he is here.  We live near several hills and trails and there are many great places I could release him without danger of cars and roads.  Would he be okay?  On Sunday and Monday I was able to stroke his fur a little but now he freaks out when I try to feed him with the dropper.  I am heartsick at the prospect of leaving him in the woods if he cannot take care of himself.  Help!

Answer
Hi Jen,

Great job taking care of him - it sounds like he is doing really well!  If he is eating well and fully active, he should be able to be released, but I can't tell from the information you gave how old he might be.  I would normally recommend waiting until he was close to full grown to be sure he can find his own food and water, but if he is not eating from a dropper anymore, you may not have much choice.  If you want to give him a few more days you can soak the small bits of bread with the kitten milk to keep him hydrated and try offering different foods (such as mouse mix, kitten kibble, cheerios, or even mealworms for instance).

The longer you can manage to feed him at home the better, but it sounds to me like he is able to get around on his own and locate food in the wild.  Best of luck with whichever you decide to do!

Please let me know if you have any other questions!
-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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