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Question
I found a baby mouse and his eyes were open but since I've been taking care of him, his eyes are shut. I have been feeding him every two hours but recently he has been breathing with his mouth open and makes little clicking noises. I fear he has fluid in his lungs. How can i treat this with over the counter medicine? Any advice with feeding to avoid this problem? Thanks!

Answer
Hi Miranda,

The gasping motion you are describing and the clicking are both indicative of an upper respiratory infection, which is something that can happen either from before you found him or from inhaling formula during feedings.  Upper respiratory infections are serious and lethal even before developing into full-blown pneumonia.  It is mandatory that he see a vet, as there are no OTC antibiotics that are proven safe for mice under 5 weeks of age.

I understand if you cannot take him to a vet, but it is worth calling around anyways in case a vet in your area has a good samaritan program and may be willing to take the mouse for you if you surrender it, free of charge.  I would also check your entire area and surrounding areas for wildlife rehabilitators - your vet may know how to contact them, otherwise you can check your state's wildlife and forestry website for a list of contacts.  If for some reason neither of these yield any help for your mouse, please consider also calling pet shops and breeders in your area - someone might have a contact who has experienced this before and can give you hands on aid.

If the mouse is old enough to be walking around, you can start offering solid foods to practice eating, such as mouse blocks, stale bread, baby food treats like puffs, or small pieces of scrambled egg made with kitten milk replacement instead of milk.  Remove any uneaten foods before they spoil.  For feeding the formula, try different positions.  The mouse should be in charge of controlling when and how much to swallow - never force formula into its mouth.  You can also try letting it puddle up in the creases of your hand and letting him/her lap it up, or using the tip of a clean, small paintbrush to offer a drop at a time.  Try to avoid positions which are easy to choke in, such as upside down or with the head at an odd angle.

Best of luck, and let me know if there is anything else I can do.
-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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