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Mice/Orphaned mouse approximately 17 days old.


We have a mice infestation and have caught two baby mice. They are currently in an inclosure with food and water. However one appears to be constipated, and I am unsure on what to do. The mice were recently freed from a trap that utilizes glue to catch them. ~Thank you for your help.

Hi Meri,

Can I ask how you came to the age guesstimate of 17 days?  It's important because if they really are only 2.5 weeks old, they will still need the bulk of their nutrition and all of their hydration from kitten formula, since they won't be able to get milk from their mom.  17 day old mice might explore solid food but won't be able to eat it, won't be able to drink, and might not be able to potty on their own.

The very first thing you need to do is try to stimulate them to go to the bathroom.  Use a warm, slightly damp cotton swab or cotton ball to gently dab at their genital and anal area. They should pee and maybe poop pretty quickly, then be sure to gently dry the area completely.  Never wipe, only gently dab.

Then, if they are indeed that young, they will need fed several times a day with kitten milk replacement (KMR, from your local pet shop or feed store, which can be offered on the tip of a paint brush drop by drop), pottied each time, and weighed each time in grams (which can be done with a container placed on a food scale and tared).  You can place a heating pad on its lowest "warm" setting under the enclosure, but nothing hotter - you want to BARELY feel a difference on the bottom of the cage with the back of your hand.  This link explains much of how to care for orphaned pups, including videos:

If they are this young, you might consider asking a local vet or wildlife rehabilitator that works with small mammals to help. Raising orphans can be difficult, and you might need hands on help along the way from someone experienced.  Never be afraid to ask - even if they can't help they might be able to point you to someone who can.

If they are old enough to drink water on their own, however, you don't need to worry about any of this. If they can keep themselves hydrated and are not injured, and if all the glue has been successfully removed, they can be released at any time the weather permits. Pick a time when they can get to the ground, and an area very far away from your home/business (think a mile away, not a few blocks).  If it's too snowy, you can feed them a commercial mouse food until you feel comfortable releasing them. Don't worry - they won't lose their wild survival instincts during that time.

I'm sorry this is such a long and generic message, but I wasn't sure of their age or situation and wanted to cover all the bases quickly.  Please do feel free to write back to ask for more details or help with anything and I'll do whatever I can.

Best of luck to the little guys!


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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

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