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QUESTION: Long story on how we ended up with this little one, but we did, he has been with us since 6/4/2016. I am concerned about his bowels and I am scared to over do it and kill him. He is receiving KMR as of now but has started with not a complete diarrhea but its getting looser. We just finally got him to the point he is doing great with his food and eating it from the brush. He is still peeing and pooping. I had upped his formula instead of doing half KMR and half water we are now only putting in 3 scoops of water instead of 4. I don't know if his poo is supposed to look like this, but if not help. Also I'm wondering if he has lost weight and if so is this normal. Can he have Kaolin Pectin? What should there stool look like. Please any advice given would be great! Thanks' much

ANSWER: Hi Marci,

Loose stools is very common when a mouse is suddenly switched from momma's milk to KMR.  You don't mention how old he is, so I can't guess if he should be having anything besides KMR, but for the purposes of this answer I'll assume he is under two weeks of age.  Are there supposed to be pictures attached, either of the mouse or the stools?  If so, I did not receive any.

He should NOT be given any medications, including kaolin pectin, which could very easily cause constipation.  In fact, the best solution for loose stools is giving more water in the KMR, as diarrhea dehydrates the body.  You can also try adding an electrolyte solution such as Lactated Ringers Solution (LRS) or unflavored pedialyte to the KMR solution to keep him hydrated.  A dehydrated mouse will lose mass very quickly, and will put it back on as soon as he is rehydrated.

He should be weighed before every feeding using a food scale that can measure in grams.  Make sure to put something warm on the scale such as a wash cloth before taring it if he does not yet have a full coat, so that he does not chill.  If he is mobile, taring the scale with a container on it first can keep him from wandering off or rolling away.  I usually use a medium sized bowl with some paper towels in the bottom of it.  He should gain steadily every single day.  Any weight loss over the course of 12-24 hours is an emergency, and he should see a vet immediately if this occurs.  Failure to steadily gain is also an emergency, unless rehydrating fixes it immediately.  Since mouse pups are so tiny, it's hard to gauge weight without keeping this record at every feed.  Weight is really your best way to tell if they are healthy.

It's terrific that he is eating, peeing, and pooping!  That means you are doing a GREAT job!  He should also sleep in between feeds, waking every couple of hours to eat (depending on age), and have a source of warmth such as a heating pad below his enclosure set to its lowest "warm" setting.

As far as stools, the first few days they might look a little looser than normal as mentioned, but should be a mostly consistent color (yellowish brown to dark brown, as long as there are no sudden or major changes).  The anus should be clean before placing the mouse back in the enclosure to prevent irritation during episodes of diarrhea - be very gentle and dab, don't wipe.  Always dry completely before replacing in the cage.  Stool consistency should be soft but solid, easily mushed.  Pudding consistency is considered loose (where it does not hold any shape), and anything more liquid than that is a clear case of diarrhea, warranting immediate rehydration.  Blood in the stool, black tarry stool, or stool that changes color regularly are all causes for concern and need addressed.

Mouse pups are so fragile, and I know it's stressful trying to keep them alive in those first several days.  Just know that every day he survives is one more day closer to him being out of the woods.  Every day that goes by improves his chances of making it.  Good luck, and please let me know if there is anything else I can help with!

-Tam

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Ralph
Ralph  
QUESTION: I just wanted to follow up with you after my last question. So the "Ralph" finally opened his eyes after alot of hard work and effort he pulled through his runny rear and his bowels went back to (what I call) normal. Though from your answer may have been normal. He has doubled in size in just days!!

I have one more question at what age can we stop stimulating his bathroom activities. I was using a cotton ball but then he seemed to become a little sore down there, so I have been using my finger😕. Lol, I just want to make sure at this age he is clear from bloat. Thank you so much for your earlier response. I think this forum is great and what a life saver!!

Picture is a little blurry he moves alot.

Answer
Marci,

That is all terrific news! I'm so glad things are going well.

You can stop stimulating him to potty once he starts pottying on his own. Check the bedding - when you begin regularly seeing pee spots and poop pellets, you can stop. If you aren't sure, switch to a few layers of paper towels for a day and check at each feed for new spots.

Once he begins going to the bathroom unaided, he can also be introduced to solid foods, though he will still need formula until 4-5 weeks of age when he begins to drink on his own consistently.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with, and congratulations on your healthy, growing baby mouse! :)

-Tam

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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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