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Question
Hi, i found what looks like a baby deer mouse inside my foyer 4 nights ago. I've been feeding her similac from a syringe and occasionally she will nibble bread soaked in it. I tried banana baby food and even fresh fruit but she ignored it. I'm worried because she doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, her eyes are open and she can potty on her own. I keep her warm with a hot water bottle under a washcloth in a small box. Is there anything else i should be doing?

First pic is when i found her:
[IMG]http://i67.tinypic.com/10gcwlt.jpg[/IMG]

This was today:
[IMG]http://i63.tinypic.com/33ac45v.jpg[/IMG]

Answer
Hi Katie,

Similac is good to tide her over, but kitten or puppy milk replacement would be much better. KMR is formulated specifically with the kind of calories and proteins small animals need to grow and thrive. You won't be able to switch straight over though - you'll need to prepare both formulas and switch gradually over the course of a couple of days. Adding pedialyte can help if you see any diarrhea or are concerned about dehydration during the switch. Any time you wish, you can introduce lab block style mouse food for her to practice chewing on. She won't succeed for a while, but it's good practice nonetheless.

Do you have a kitchen food scale? They are very inexpensive, and will allow you to measure in grams. She should be weighed several times a day before feeds. This will let you see if she really is gaining or losing weight. She should be gaining something every single day.

How does she act between meals? A well fed pup will go right to sleep after eating and wake when hungry, getting more active around weeks 2-3. How frequently does she eat? When in doubt, feed more frequent medium sized meals instead of fewer big ones. How about her poops? Have they been regular and normal? Or soft, runny, or discolored? Does she pee at every feed? Even if she is pottying on her own, stimulate her to pee before feeding to help encourage her system to get moving. This can ensure she really is eating a full meal.

Sometimes orphaned pups have things going on genetically that can't be helped, but because we can't do anything about that, we have to proceed as though it's something that CAN be addressed. The biggest thing to address is hydration. We can check for hydration by looking at pee and poop and their frequency, feeding frequently, and watching the scale.

After each feed, gently stroke on either side of the tummy with almost no pressure at all from shoulder to hip. This "grooming" can help with gas that makes a mouse uncomfortable and full. If you can swap the bottle for a heating pad on its lowest "warm" setting, you can save yourself a little extra work and the trouble of having it cool too quickly. Always place something between the heat and the mouse just like you have been - it should feel slightly warmer than the room when you feel the surface with the back of your hand.

I think I've covered most of it, but please write me back if you have more questions or new details and I will respond as soon as I can. Best of luck!! :)

-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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