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Question
My husband and I found two baby mice stuck in our air vent. I found a chart online and from that I would say they are 8 days old. One of them seems to have diarrhea. What should I do? I already have been mixing in more water and Pedialyte into their esbilac.

Answer
Hi Alyssa,

Diarrhea is common for young mice when there is a change in the diet.  You're doing exactly what I would recommend by adding Pedialyte, so way to go!  :)  The important part now is to watch for changes.  You can also help calm their tummies after each meal by using your forefinger and thumb to very, very lightly stroke their sides from shoulder to hip.  You don't need to apply any pressure at all, but this light petting will simulate mom's grooming and help to settle their stomachs.  Combine that with your heat source (commonly a heating pad under the enclosure turned to its lowest "warm" setting) and you have instant mouse nap!

Do you have a kitchen scale that can measure in grams?  Your most important clue is going to be weight.  Improvement will mean a steady gain of weight every single day.  Losing weight after the first day of diarrhea is an emergency and means a vet visit is required - the mouse may have something else going on or need fluids administered professionally.

Good changes to look for include:
-Stools moving toward a more solid texture and less frequently (going from watery or pudding to play dough - normal stools are mostly solid but easily squished)
-Better appetite and better naps in between meals
-Weight gain
-Overall chunkier appearance (dehydration can "shrink" a mouse visibly within the span of a few hours, and they gain it back with rehydration just as fast!)

Changes that signal a problem that needs medical intervention may include:
-Worsening stools, such as a sudden change in color (from brown to orange, green, or pale), a more watery consistency, a sudden inability to pass stools, or blood in the stool
-Redness, inflammation, or broken skin around the anus (try coconut oil, olive oil, or neosporin on the anal area if you see the beginnings of this)
-Diarrhea that continues for more than three days
-Lack of weight gain for more than a day, or any weight loss
-Lethargy or refusal to eat


So far your instincts are spot on, but since things can happen suddenly with baby mice, I just wanted you to know what to do in case anything changes.  Thank you so much for rescuing the little guys (or girls)!  If there's anything else I can help with please let me know.  Best of luck!

-Tam

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Tamarah

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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: 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/

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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!

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East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

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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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