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Mice/Pinky Abandoned


QUESTION: Today I pulled lawn mower out of shed and a mama mouse ran out leaving a squeaking baby behind just lying on the floor. I hoped she would return if I left it alone. She did not. A few hours later it was still there alive. I kick myself now for not scoping it up immediately and following 1-10 on Stuart & Matilda. stores are closed now & all I have is coconut milk (no pedialyte). Matty (name works for male of female) had taken some on first 2 feedings about 1&1/2 hrs apart. Now not feeding so well. Tho squeaking and wiggling off & on. I've looked at pics and figure Matty is oinly a day or two old. I'm doing my best though realize odds are against us. Still trying my best. Advice please! Should I pedialyte as soon as stores open & start the formula soon as well? I have no scale no syringe nothing... a.m. Can't come soon enough. Matty is a toughy for so tiny. I want to do my best for lil pinky. Help!
FYI I don't facebook :/


I'm sorry for the late response - this came while I was asleep. Hopefully Matty is still doing well and eating, and you've had a chance to pick up some supplies!

The biggest thing I'd recommend is getting help from someone experienced with orphaned mice.  Call everyone - vets, wildlife rehabilitators, animal rescues, rodent breeders, and even pet shops to see if anyone in your area has done this before and can help.

Failing that, you will need some supplies. The biggest three things are warmth, potty, and food.  You can put a heating pad on its lowest setting beneath the enclosure, checking frequently to ensure warmth but no hot spots.  The enclosure also needs to be away from vents and drafts.  For pottying - a mouse this young cannot urinate or defecate on its own, and won't eat until it does, either. Pottying kick starts the digestive system, and can be done by gently dabbing the genital/anal area with a moistened cotton ball, swab, or piece of soft toilet paper or cloth. Rub the cotton between your hands first to warm it up.  You will see a small spot of urine and/or fecal matter - then it's food time.

For food pedialyte is great for electrolytes but not much else. Kitten or puppy milk is necessary to gain weight, and he or she should be gaining every single day. Offer food every couple of hours, and call a vet if two or more feeds are refused. You can use a syringe, palm of your hand, even the tip of a paintbrush - anything that gets food in his or her tummy without forcing it into their mouth.

After each meal, place tummy down in the enclosure, pad on, and stroke VERY lightly with one finger on each side from shoulder to hip. No pressure at all, just slow, soft motion. This can help with gas that may result from a sudden dietary switch.

Things to watch for include: a refusal to eat two or more meals consecutively, weight loss or failure to gain (you may need to purchase an inexpensive food scale), persistent diarrhea (causes serious dehydration and weight loss, pedialyte can help), gasping movements (vet asap), or becoming chilled.

This link is my orphan go-to, and explains this all in greater detail.

Remember that orphans are DIFFICULT. Every day is one day closer to survival, but even the most experienced have no guarantees. Thank you so much for trying for little Matty!

Let me know if I can help in any other ways,

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

QUESTION: By the time I got your response which was timely, I thoroughly cleaned  and used a makeup brush til craft store opened next a.m. & I got a much better brush. Also I had mixed a batch of formula from homemade recipe posted (Stuart & Matilda 1-10 on YouTube) Between myself & neighbor I had all ingredients. Matty really likes it. I read everywhere (& also you later mentioned formula). I went to petstore first thing next a.m. & got some. Matty wasn't liking it at all. Tried feeding it to her all day. Very little success. I switched back to original formula because she had to eat. Been doing well ever since however should I be concerned since person who posted recipe says its rich & can cause diarrhea? Matty had a brief spell of diarrhea but seems to be fine now. Dare I try switching back to kitten formula? If she gets it again maybe should I switch back? BTW I am following all your tips in feeding positions, potting, all the supplies.... Oh & your advise on tummy stroke facedown - both fingers stroking down sides at same time?

ANSWER: I think I found the video you mentioned, but I'm not positive. If so (a formula containing goats milk, raw egg, etc?), puppy/kitten formula would be a better option. You can slowly switch him/her over by mixing it with formula over a period of a few days until they are eating just the KMR.  Any change in diet (including the initial switch from mom's milk) may cause diarrhea, but slowly transitioning like this can help reduce the chances/severity.  Like you mentioned - it's important that they eat something!

The tummy stroking is just a suggestion, as long as you are very gentle and they seem soothed you are doing it right.  You are doing a great job!


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

QUESTION: Yes that's the video. I think the recipe is causing tummy upset diarrhea, bloat etc. (not the Terrible tight tummy painful bloat but definitely some bloat) In addition to that only slow weight gain. I think I may need to retry the kitten formula. I gave it 2 tries last week and in addition to Matty not liking it it gave terrible tummy troubleI. Likely because I didn't slowly add/switch to it. Ignorant mistake. ( I read that the puppy formula may be even better??? True??? Or should I try kitten again?
The info on mixing & introducing formula on link you attached is confusing. Or should I say I'm confused. Maybe it applies to mouse that hasn't started on any formula post mom's? I was going to go by your previous reply then. Please tell me if i understand you correctly that I should try mixing kitten/puppy formula with the homemade formula I'm using now? Should I mix it with water first (& if so at what rate? I read to mix 2X  the required amount of water? Four example kitten recipe 1 teaspoon powder 2 teaspoons water. So I would mix 4 teaspoons water for mouse... I'm so afraid of causing Matty further discomfort.
Bedding question. Do you not recommend shredded Kleenex? Again link you shared talks about fabrics...
Thanks again in advance!

Switching slowly will reduce the sudden tummy trouble resulting from a quick change in the diet.  Either puppy or kitten formula will work, just stick with whichever one you have.

How you prepare the puppy/kitten formula by itself will depend on if you have the powder or liquid form to start with.  Mix as instructed on the packaging, then stir in water until it's closer to the consistency of cow's milk you'd get for yourself.  2x the amount of water sounds just about right, but you can toy with it until it looks good to you and works well for her.

When I say to mix into the homemade formula you use now, I mean to use for example 1/4 KMR (the kitten/puppy milk) and 3/4 homemade for a day, then a little more for several feedings, then a little more, until a few days later you have switched entirely to KMR.  This eases the shock the gut feels at a quick switch and can reduce the impact of gas and diarrhea.

At around 10-14 days of age, mouse pups are ready to start exploring solid foods, but will continue to need that formula until they can drink on their own (until 4-5 weeks of age, wait until you visually confirm they are drinking from a bottle).  This means you can start introducing small pieces of stale bread to chew on and practice eating, as well as mouse/rat food.  With commercial mouse/rat foods, be sure you remove all seeds and kernels, only leaving the pellets, or use a lab block kind.  Matty will not make much progress on these foods yet, but let her try anyways, and replace them each day so they do not get moldy.

There are a few styles of bedding that work well, and while shredded kleenex is good when you are still carefully watching for poops/pees, it does not insulate very well and gets soiled very quickly as she gets older.  When you are confident she is pottying on her own I would suggest switching to either aspen bedding or a paper bedding such as Yesterday's News or my favorite, Carefresh.  This will also be safer once you start offering a water bottle, as if it leaks on kleenex or plain paper it can quickly make the cage VERY wet and cold.

As usual, you are doing terrific!  Keep me updated, and I'm going to go take a peek at your other question now.



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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: Orphaned Mice Videos: Natasha's Your First Mouse: General Mouse Help: Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds:


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!

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

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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