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Rescued baby mouse advice needed

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Post by VeggieMom Tue 15 Jun 2021, 7:34 pm

Looking for advice, help, anything. We found a baby wild mouse in our driveway about 4.5 days ago. I would guess he(she?) was about 3-4 days old. I called a vet and numerous wildlife rehabilitators, but no one would take him. We looked online, got him set up with a warm "nest" and diluted kitten formula. I have fed him with a paint brush every two hours, all day and through the night. From the get-go, he has been a reluctant eater and had to be coaxed, but Sunday he started to seem to eat more willingly and even eagerly if only for a short period of time. I use a warm, wet q-tip to stimulate him to poop and pee, and it had been working.

My concerns are primarily his constipation/bloat and general behavior. Since yesterday, I hadn't been able to get him to poop. Now, his belly looks a bit distended and bloated. I gave him a little corn syrup mixture and did some warm water soaks and massages, and that seemed to work a little. He pooped, but still looks bloated and I think I can see an air bubble in his little belly. Behavior-wise, he has always been a bit spastic. He jerks around a lot, does somersaults, flips around kind of frantically. I'm not sure if this is normal as I've never had a rodent this young before. Then last night while eating, he jerked his head back stiffly and gaped. He went still for a long time. We thought we had lost him. He wouldn't react to my touch. Then all of a sudden he twitched. A few seconds later, he was wiggling around again. He has done the gaping thing a few more times, but not gone completely unresponsive. Looking back at the pictures from that first day, I think he has lost a bit of weight. I am really worried and just hoping there is something I can try to help him.

I knew from the beginning that this was a long shot, but we are really trying our best to help the little guy. I would appreciate any help at all. My gut says he won't last long. I am worried that we are prolonging his suffering (is he suffering?) but not willing to give up. We've all grown attached to him and my kids even named him. Thanks in advance.

VeggieMom
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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop Wed 16 Jun 2021, 4:27 pm

You have done your research, and you are trying your best to help your little friend. I can't imagine any practice or procedure to tell you about that isn't covered on this site or Creek Valley Critters's baby mouse care tutorial videos.

For as advanced as we humans might consider ourselves to be over a "simple" mouse, we usually make not-very-good replacements for a mama mouse when it comes to taking care of a baby mouse.  Well, let's face it -- it's a lot easier to keep up with the feeding schedule when you can just lie on your side and rest a bit while any number of hungry little mouths help themselves to a meal.

... but then she has to clean them all up with nothing but her tongue!

It seems that the two most difficult things to avoid in the tiny ones, and to cure if they happen, are dehydration and bloat.  You have had to deal with possible bloat already.  Dehydration isn't as straightforward, because there is no way to super-hydrate -- unless a medical professional is available to administer subcutaneous hydration by injection.

If you are unable to get junior to take in more fluid -- kitten formula, Pedialyte, or water -- it may be that its systems are shutting down.  And it may not be something that started in your care.  Your baby mouse may have been abandoned because its mama recognized failure-to-thrive, or it may have been dropped on your driveway by a cat or other predator and be suffering from some internal injuries on top of having been separated from its mama's care for who-knows-how-long.

In these situations we always hope for the best outcome, and work for it to the best of our abilities, but we realize that Nature has us at a disadvantage.

Too bad there is no way to attach a four-leaf clover from my back yard here, for maybe a little good luck ...

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MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop
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Post by SarahAdams Wed 16 Jun 2021, 6:28 pm

You are doing everything you can, and more than 99.9% of the population would do for this little mouse.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, tiny baby animals just can't be saved. We, as humans, do what we can to emulate mother's care but it often just isn't enough.

I hope this little guy makes it, but if he doesn't, at least he didn't meet a terrible end on the street and has known safety, loving care, and a comfortable home thanks to you.

Good luck!

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