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Post by Lacysowner on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:13 pm

I found a dead rat outside last night and this afternoon found 4 baby mice (6 total - one died recently while the other was partially eaten). Our vet is a rescue center too so I just need to get them through the night. They look VERY young. How do I get them through the night alive?

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Last edited by Lacysowner on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Pictures posted multiple times)

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:16 pm

There's detailed instructions on this link: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/orphanedmice.cfm

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Post by River on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:32 pm

I'd say rats - they're very small, and still hairless. It's pretty definite to me that you need to get them onto a heating pad on the lowest setting, since they have no mother to keep them warm. Use with caution, however, as they can get too hot and give the babies thermal burn. Newborn rats nurse every 3-4 hours, so you'll need to be setting an alarm to feed them during the night. I'd say they're under two weeks, and I'd even go as far to say that they're newborns. New born rats are typically 1 1/4 an inch, which as far as I can tell, is what these little ones are. Neither baby rats nor mice can go to the bathroom on their own, you must stimulate them to go by rubbing with a Q-tip around the genitals and anus for at least 30 seconds. I'd suggest using gloves whenever you handle these babies. They should use the bathroom at least every third feeding. They're gonna be a hassle for you, let me say. They're pretty messy eaters, so you must clean them gently at every eating. I'm not sure what you would use for this - I wouldn't use cotton balls personally. Perhaps a warm hand towel?

Say it is rats; then human infant formula is recommended. Be sure it's a powdered formula, and most prefer soy based formula rather than milk based.

1st feeding 4 parts water to 1 part powder (eg. 2 teaspoons water to ½ teaspoon powder)
2nd feeding 3.5 parts water to 1 part powder (eg. 1¾ teaspoons water to ½ teaspoon powder)
3rd feeding 3 parts water to 1 part powder (eg. 1½ teaspoons to ½ teaspoon powder)
4th feeding 2.5 parts water to 1 part powder (eg. 1¼ teaspoons water to ½ teaspoon powder)
5th feeding 2 parts water to 1 part powder (eg. 1 teaspoon water to ½ teaspoon powder) Then use this mixture from now on unless the baby has problems.

If the kit gets bloated or dehydrated, return to the mixture for the second feeding and progress from there.
If the baby is still bloated after going back to the more dilute formula, then you can give the baby a remedy called Nux vomica, which is good for digestive problems. Don't touch the pellets with your hands, and instead tip them into a clean dish and dissolve in a bit of water. Then syringe feed this into the babies mouth.

To mix the formula, warm the water to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This will cool on it's own when the powder starts getting mixed in, and it'll end up to be roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds, or over a stove if preferred. Since there will be several babies, set the cup of warm water into bowl filled with warm water - the warm water surrounding the cup will keep it at the right temp.

It can take up to two days for the babies to even eat the new formula. It's not used to it - don't worry if they deny it. Keep trying. Hold the little ones upright, grasping them gently - yet firmly - at the neck. They're wiggly little things when they're young, so don't let them fall.


I suggest using the soft part of a small paintbrush to feed the kits. Good luck.


Information gained mainly from The Rat Report, or the rat fanclub. wrote:





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Post by scaredymouse on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:42 pm

Poor babies.  Most likely that rat was their momma and maybe a cat came along Sad

Here's our link, read through it and let me know if you have any questions:  http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t42-caring-for-orphaned-mice#

They look like rat babies.  I can't see why our mouse advice wouldn't help them through the night though.  I'm just gonna summarize the link for you real quick though.  You will need to syringe feed them every two hours around the clock.  We use KMR, which is a kitten milk replacement.  If you get the powder, dilute it twice the amount it says.  If you get a can, dilute it with half water.

They need to be kept snuggled together to keep warm.  You can use shredded toilet paper or paper towels for bedding for them.  You can even use a heating pad on low maybe under a towel under their box so it doesn't get too hot.  But they can't regulate their own temperature, so keeping them warm is crucial.

And lastly, you need a qtip to massage their tummies after they eat to stimulate them to poop.

Just from a quick search, they look like they are only about 4 or 5 days old and pretty slim. It is a wonderful thing you are doing trying to help them... but their chances aren't great. So, try not to feel bad if they don't make it. Regardless of the heroic measures, sometimes the tiny ones just need their mom. Poor little babies Sad


Last edited by scaredymouse on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Lacysowner on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:45 pm

Does it matter how old they are and if they are mice vs rats?  The droppings in our small storage shed are very large and the dead adult was big with a long tail. My son is on his way to buy the kitten formula. Since they may be rats, should I stop him and have him get the baby formula?
Also, they are covered in small bugs. We have exotic birds and dogs- kind of a rescue household with an innate ability to stumble upon things like these orphans. should I be concerned about the transfer of these bugs? They weren't fleas. Thanks!!

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Post by scaredymouse on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 7:59 pm

They most likely have mites, although it's possible it could be lice. I would be a bit concerned about the bugs. But if you don't have any other rodents... it may not matter. I believe the bugs are species specific.

I don't know a thing about rats, so unfortunately I wouldn't know what to tell you. But I'm fairly certain they are rats, so if human formula is appropriate for them, then you probably should get that. kitten formula wouldn't hurt them, so maybe if they wont take the human formula they would like the kitten stuff.

being that small, you would need to feel them with something tiny like the tip of a paint brush. they look only about 4-5 days old, which just means the odds are stacked against them. good luck! i'm glad you have a place to take them in the morning. we check in a lot here, so feel free to ask any questions as they come up and let us know how things go.

they look so skinny Sad

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Post by River on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:08 pm

@scaredymouse wrote:They most likely have mites, although it's possible it could be lice.  I would be a bit concerned about the bugs.  But if you don't have any other rodents... it may not matter.  I believe the bugs are species specific.

I don't know a thing about rats, so unfortunately I wouldn't know what to tell you.  But I'm fairly certain they are rats, so if human formula is appropriate for them, then you probably should get that.  kitten formula wouldn't hurt them, so maybe if they wont take the human formula they would like the kitten stuff.  

being that small, you would need to feel them with something tiny like the tip of a paint brush.  they look only about 4-5 days old, which just means the odds are stacked against them.  good luck!  i'm glad you have a place to take them in the morning.  we check in a lot here, so feel free to ask any questions as they come up and let us know how things go.

they look so skinny Sad

Definite rats! Far too big to be mice, as mice at that size would be showing more development. Human infant milk formula is very good for orphaned baby rats, as it's unbelievably close to rat milk.
The are very, very thin. I'd say only a few would survive, if any. Good on you to try and help them though (:

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Post by Peachy on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:32 pm

I have no advice to add, but I wanted to wish you and the babies the best. It's so kind of you and your family to help them. Smile
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Post by Lacysowner on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 9:45 pm

So far, they are all alive. 2 of the 4 were eager to eat. My son brought home infant and kitten but both are liquids. I mixed the infant with water. In my haste I forgot to warm it. None of them went to the bathroom. I tried with the qtips I'll try again at next feeding. I put them in a small box with the bedding I use for our bird cages. It is odorless. I but them in garage with heating pad under the box and towel between. Hoping for the best! Thanks for the help.

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Post by scaredymouse on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 9:53 pm

Sounds perfect! I saw you had nice paper based bedding, it looked like carefresh Smile

I'm not surprised they didn't poop. They probably haven't eaten for a while, who knows long mom was gone. Good luck, fingers crossed for the babies!

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Post by River on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 11:31 pm

@Lacysowner wrote:So far, they are all alive. 2 of the 4 were eager to eat. My son brought home infant and kitten but both are liquids. I mixed the infant with water. In my haste I forgot to warm it. None of them went to the bathroom. I tried with the qtips I'll try again at next feeding. I put them in a small box with the bedding I use for our bird cages. It is odorless. I but them in garage with heating pad under the box and towel between. Hoping for the best!  Thanks for the help.

Good that they were eager for it! Liquid shouldn't be harmful for them. Try again next feeding about the bathroom thing! Sounds like a nice set up. They're very lucky you found them.

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Post by Soren on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 12:46 am

Poor things, they look so skinny and small!
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Post by Lacysowner on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 4:10 am

2 are very active and eat easy, 1 is okay, and the 4th is super skinny and doesn't want to open his mouth. Hope he makes it.

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Post by River on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 1:51 pm

@Lacysowner wrote:2 are very active and eat easy, 1 is okay, and the 4th is super skinny and doesn't want to open his mouth. Hope he makes it.

I hate to bear bad news, but it's likely the fourth won't. Can't say that 'okay' baby, but with good luck, he'll make it out alright. I'm actually pretty hopeful for the first two. They sound good! Any luck with the bathroom thing?

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Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Wed 22 Jun 2016, 2:37 pm

On the TFM link it says you have to help them go to the bathroom though, right? I don't know much about baby mice/rats but that's what it said on TFM.

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