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Mice/Abandoned baby mice dying

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Question
Hi there.

About 4 days ago my partner and I found 4 baby mice in the basement. They were scattered around in different places, and we're not sure where the mother went or how the babies got so far apart from each other.

We put them in a 5 gallon tank, purchased some KMR kitten formula, and had a warming lamp next to them. They seemed to be doing so well.

But yesterday morning when I woke up, one of the smallest ones was dead. I fed the 3 remaining ones, and later on when I went back to feed them again, a second one was dying. He was laying on his side, breathing heavily through his mouth (gasping), he died shortly after.

I was devastated and cried a lot yesterday....I don't know why they died, but I felt guilty/sad. They all seemed to eat well and were improving since when we found them.

So...yesterday we took care of the remaining two. They ate their kitten forumla regularly, seemed to have energy etc. BUT, once again this morning another one of them was dying.

Now we're down to one baby. I don't know why they're dying. I was thinking maybe it was because they weren't going to the bathroom regularly (we tried to assist them with that by using a Q-tip, but I don't know if it was enough).

I don't know what to do to make sure this last one survives. I am nervous about picking him up, because two days ago I learned about the Hantavirus or "sin nombre virus", and it REALLY freaked me out. I am 99% sure the mice are deer mice (we live in eastern Ontario).

I am very sad about all of this. I really wanted them all to make it but I feel so guilty for the 3 of them dying.

Anyways, thanks so much for the answers you provide on this site, they've been very helpful to me the last couple of days.

Cheers,
Mik

Answer
Dear Mik,

I am so sorry you have lost them.

The mom may have abandoned them on purpose because they were unhealthy in some way. This can be why they just passed so quickly.

If you still have one, I can bring you into a Facebook group I run for orphan care. We have resources and helpers for you. Friend me: Natasha Athena Millikan, and message me.

Mothers don't pass hantavirus on to the babies so these guys didn't have it.

Thank you for giving then your best shot.

Squeaks,

Natasha

Mice

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Natasha

Expertise

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): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising **** SEXING MICE: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES: http://thefunmouse.com/info/index.cfm http://www.rmca.org/Resources/mousefaq.htm

Experience

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.

Organizations
I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

Education/Credentials
B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

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