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Mice/Fancy Mouse running in circles after giving birth


Two months ago we adopted two mice from the pet store. A month later we found out that one of the males were actually a female. She had a litter of 6. We didn't seperate her from the dad immediatly becuase we found the babies a couple days after they had been born.

So fast forward to today. She had another littler. 12 this time and as soon as they were born she started running in circles,taking them out of the nest and putting them all over the cage. She didn't nurse because she wouldn't stay still. She basically just ignored the babies which she did not do with the first litter.

We ended up taking the babies to a pet store because they had a feeder tank with a mom who was nursing. But Crista is still running in circles. We really don't have the funds to take her to a vet, there's not any in our town that treat small animals. What could be going on? She's never done this before and it just started right after she had this second litter.


I am so extremely sorry at my late response.  I got a large number of questions around the time you sent yours, and I thought I did them all at the same time, but I missed yours completely.

Hopefully she is doing better at this point.  When you say running in circles, do you mean running all over the cage and seeming agitated?  Or that she is literally running only in circles, turning in the same direction repetitively?  The latter is indicative of neurological or inner ear problems, the former lends itself more toward stress or discomfort.

Having back to back litters results in a lot of stress for mom, both physically and mentally.  Was her older litter still with her?  Is she still nursing them?  Has her behavior with her first litter changed in a negative way, as well?  She may have simply been overwhelmed, but I would check for mastitis as well just in case.  Feel her breast tissue for any hard lumps, uneven swelling, or spots that are particularly warm or discolored.  You can do so by lifting her by the tail so that her front feet are on a stable, smooth surface (like a counter top) and quickly looking and feeling around the row of nipples extending from her armpit area on each side to her lower belly.

If everything looks normal, and she hasn't had any physical symptoms by now such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vaginal discharge, bleeding, or weight loss, then my focus would turn to making her comfortable and calm again.  Give her more toys, an extra place to hide, and if the first litter is weaned, remove all but one or two females for companionship.  Distribute food around the cage so she never has to go far to get to it.  Remove the male and any male offspring from the room, and keep the light cycles and temperature regular.  Mice do grieve, and do feel stress.  Even though removing the babies was the best thing for them, it's still very hard on momma.  She can't ask you what's going on, so it's important to comfort her however you can.

I can't apologize enough for my late response, but if you can, I would love to get an update on Crista.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist with, and I will respond promptly.



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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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