You are here:

Mice/baby mouse


This baby mouse has no hair on it. All I have right now to feed this poor thing is whole milk, I watered it down a little bit. Will this be ok till I can get to a store or buy a nursing white mouse.
         Worried, Sherry

Hi Sherry,

Anything is better than nothing.  Do you have a small paintbrush that you can use to help it eat?  You can dip the paintbrush in the milk and use the tip to offer it tiny bit by tiny bit.  Cow's milk can cause excessive gassiness and discomfort, so to help with that for tonight, use your forefinger and thumb to pet it after each feeding VERY gently (touching it, not pushing at all) from shoulder to hip on each side.  This, combined with the warmth from a heating pad set to its lowest "warm" setting beneath its enclosure, will hopefully help ease any gas pains.

The best bet might be to find someone near by who has experience with orphaned mice.  I would start with wildlife rehabilitators who might be reachable after hours, check here for rehabbers in your county:  Then, first thing in the morning, I would try phoning local animal rescues, veterinarians, pet shops, and rodent breeders.  You are probably not going to be able to purchase a momma mouse and her litter to nurse it, but if that's something that is possible in your area, I suppose it could be done.  Even if that were doable, however, there's a chance the momma might react poorly.

Bright and early in the morning, I'd suggest picking up some kitten or puppy milk replacement (which I'm going to call KMR from now on).  Since baby is so small, water down the KMR just a little more than it suggests and then use the paintbrush method again to feed it every two hours.  You'll also need to pick up some unflavored pedialyte, to mix into the KMR and help keep it hydrated should it start to experience diarrhea and dehydration from the switch up in diets (from momma to milk to KMR).

You also need a kitchen scale that can measure in grams to monitor weight gain.  Weight is your biggest clue on health, and if you are going to be handraising it, you'll need to weigh it before and after each feed and watch for lack of gaining or weight loss.

I'm not sure if you knew, but one of THE MOST IMPORTANT things about baby mice is they cannot use the bathroom on their own.  To help keep things moving and to stimulate their appetite, you have to help them urinate and pass stools.  You can do this by dampening a cloth or cotton swab in warm water, squeezing out the excess water, and then using it to very gently dab at the genitals and anus of the mouse.  It should only take a second or two, and for brand new babies, you might only see a drop.  That's okay!  They should be peeing every feed, and passing stools at minimum once a day (but usually every few feeds).  Be very careful to only place the mouse back in its enclosure when it is completely dry again, as mice without their coats have no way to efficiently regulate their body temperature and can chill extremely quickly.

I know it sounds daunting, but I've only included this much information because I'm about to go to sleep, and don't want you left without knowing what to do until morning!  Mouse pups are hard, and they don't always make it even when someone does every single thing right.  It's okay to ask for help in your area from someone who has done it before.

If you have any other questions please let me know, and good luck to you and the little mouse!


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

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

©2016 All rights reserved.