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Mice/What should I do???

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Hi there!!
I found this field mouse in my garage. It didn't run away, and let me scoop it up. I went to put it outside, but it didn't run away and seems wobbly and it's eyes were half closed. Could there be something wrong with it? Can you tell from this pic if it's a baby?? I put it outside with hamster bedding and sunflower seeds,  but now I think I should bring it back inside so nothing happens to it.
I'm clueless when it comes to mice, so any advice will be a great help!!

Answer
Hi Sarah,

I can't tell an exact age from the photo, but since the eyes are open and the coat is full, I can tell you it's at least 2 weeks old. Whether that means older baby or full adult, however, I can't determine from the picture.

If it still hasn't moved, it's likely that it needs help. It could either be sick, or too young to be on its own. Since we can't tell immediately what is wrong, the very best thing to do would be to contact a vet, or a wildlife rehabilitator who works with small rodents.

Fortunately, your state has a toll free wildlife phone number, and a site that lets you search for rescuers in your area:
http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/rehabilitators.aspx

That number opens up at 8 on Monday, but in the meantime you can bring the mouse indoors and observe it.  Set up a secure enclosure of some kind in a part of your home with no drafts, and place a heating pad on its lowest "warm" setting beneath it. You should barely be able to feel a little warmth on the bottom of the enclosure with the back of your hand. You can use a bedding or even just socks/rags in the enclosure.

If you can convince him to eat, you can offer a small piece of stale bread soaked with water. You can also try to offer a little kitten/puppy milk replacement made with water via a tiny paintbrush tip - but never force any fluids in its mouth! Make sure he is kept dry after offering food - never put him back in the enclosure with wet fur. Even at his youngest potential age he SHOULD be pottying on his own, but you can try to stimulate his appetite by gently dabbing his genitals with a warm, moist cotton swab. This might help him pee or poop if he's a juvenile, which will encourage his digestive system to get moving.

Remember to always wash your hands very thoroughly before AND after touching any wild mouse, and keep all supplies separate from other pets after they've been used with him.

Good luck until morning, and hopefully you can find a professional who can help out! If not, please feel free to write me back with any new information you have and, if possible, a better picture. Good luck again, and thank you for caring for him!! (Or her!)

-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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