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Mice/Common House Mouse Orphan-concern


I am hoping you'll be able to advise me on my rescue friend, Milton. I rescued him on 04/15 a few hours after his parents/family was killed and nest destroyed. He had little to no fur, closed eyes, and flat ears. I started my research right away(I have watched all Creek Valley critter videos) and have had him now on diluted kitten formula since last Friday. At first, he would squeak and seemed relatively healthy and active, however these past 2 days he has been lethargic and seems to be losing weight, though he has grown in length. He has been pooping and peeing regularly and with solid results. I switched him tonight back to pedialyte because I'm concerned about bloat and dehydration. Is there any signs or indications that I should be concerned about and know to look for?

Hi Amber,

Is he still receiving formula with the pedialyte?  I wasn't sure if you meant you switched him to just pedialyte, or formula prepared with pedialyte, sorry!  He does need the formula in order to put on weight.

He should be gaining in weight every single day.  Do you have a food scale to weigh him on in grams?  Tracking his weight twice a day before a feeding is the best way to make sure he is gaining, and not losing.  It may be that he is not eating frequently enough, or perhaps that he isn't eating enough per meal.  You could also try slowly increasing the concentration of the formula (though keeping it to a drinkable consistency, obviously).  Illness is always a possibility, but it's hard to guess without more targeted symptoms.  If he urinates before or after every meal, has normal poops, and isn't bloated or uncomfortable, I wouldn't worry all that much about dehydration - just about making sure he's getting adequate nutrition.  How often and how much is he eating?

Is his bedding warm/heat source not too hot or too cool?  Are there any drafts around his enclosure?  Have his eyes opened up yet?  Does he cry after or in between meals?  Honestly, the biggest things to watch are the ones you already are - normal poop, urination with each meal, activity levels, and most importantly, weight gain.  

Do you have a veterinarian who has experience with mice, or someone in your area who is experienced in raising orphaned rodents?  Finding someone to take a closer look at him, your set up, your feeding schedule, etc. can go a lot further than I can.

Best of luck, and please let me know how else I can help.


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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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