mouse arching back and gasping when feeding - please help

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mouse arching back and gasping when feeding - please help Empty mouse arching back and gasping when feeding - please help

Post by rtsugg on Tue 05 May 2020, 5:30 pm

We found four field mice pinkies, they had nested in our lawn mower, the mother ran off and we gathered the four babies and kept them close by, and watched for two hours and she never returned. So we have been caring for them and lost one Sad - they have just opened their eyes. We have been feeding puppy milk replacement, then realized they were dehydrated and added pedialite and that helped a LOT. HOWEVER - now when feeding with a tiny glass dropper, they will drink and then arch their back and gape their mouth pawing in the air for a minute and then come back down and drink some more - they have increased this behavior and I can't find anything related to this. Please advise!

Since they have just opened their eyes, I have now added a very shallow dish of water in their box, scattered some oats (will have wild bird seed tonight) I think that if they can eat on their own more then maybe that will be better for them. We have been feeding every two hours, and last night moved to every two and a half - should we increase the timing now? Is there another way we can feed them that won't distress them so?

Would appreciate your help so much (we plan to release them at 5 weeks - and will build the shelter you suggested)
Crying or Very sad

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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Tue 05 May 2020, 5:45 pm

I would do two things:

(1) Look online for some video of baby mice feeding from their mother and compare it to what you are seeing in your foster mousies.  See if there is similarity in the arching and pawing.  It is common for animals that feed lying down like that to "knead" at the mother's belly -- the babies don't give a thought about why they do it, but it helps to get the milk flowing. They may be gasping because they're just taking it in from you too fast -- I don't know if they have the ability, as human babies do, to breathe and drink at the same time without aspirating (an ability that we lose).

(2)  Also look online for a demonstration video to make sure you are feeding with the tiny ones in proper position.  It is fairly easy for them to drink "down the wrong pipe", and that would put milk into the breathing apparatus and could lead to fluid and infection in the lungs.  Something to most definitely work to avoid.

Hope you can find the information you need.  Best wishes to you all.

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Post by BrendoniUrie on Tue 05 May 2020, 7:04 pm

Also be sure to groom them like the mother would they can't go to the bathroom without the stimuation. Look up some examples on how to do it.

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Post by rtsugg on Tue 05 May 2020, 7:10 pm

we have watched videos, and we have groomed and helped them use the bathroom, which we had been doing, but I appreciate your bringing that up as I hadn't mentioned it. From watching the videos, it appears they are dehydrated again, so back to the electrolytes in a diluted formula - every two hours - the two girls are the most active, but the boy is more lethargic Sad He ate a lot, got a full belly, so massaged his abdomen as instructed from a video.

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Post by Robin~ on Tue 05 May 2020, 8:18 pm

Please please see a wildlife rehabilitator. They have plenty of experience in this sort of thing and licensing to keep wild animals for an extended amount of time (which is illegal otherwise). I know it’s hard, but passing them onto an experienced professional will give them their best shot at surviving when released back into the wild.

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Post by rtsugg on Wed 06 May 2020, 9:53 am

Thank you, taking to a rehabilitator.

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