Pet Mice Forum banner

An eventful evening......

2855 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  The secret garden
This is a story, less about my current litter and more about one very eventful evening I had a couple of nights ago......

As an NMC member, I breed toward exhibition standard.
Following a recent run of bad luck with my show lines (various things, irrelevant to this post) I had a VERY important Silver litter due this week.

At about 5pm on Wednesday evening, my Silver doe began to have her babies.
By 6:30pm I saw 3 very cold babies scattered round the cage, covered in Aubiose and other rubbish and certainly not being attended to, and 2 half eaten babies.
"This is not going well" I think to myself.

I discretely removed the 3 cold babs, cleaned them up and put them in to foster with another litter born the same day.

I checked my Silver doe again later on that evening and found that she'd not had any more babies at all. She looked ok and I could see babies wiggling away in her tummy, but I know that having babies does not take so long for my mice usually.

I checked again later on and found her looking less well. Babies still wiggling well inside her.

There were obvious complications so, rather than put the mother through a miserable night that would most probably result in a slow painful death, I did what needed to be done and culled was the right thing to do.

She went quickly. The babies stopped wiggling :(

I'd already decided that after I'd culled her I would open her up to see what the complication was and to see if I could rescue any babies (though at this point I'd decided that they were dead as they'd stopped wiggling) and this is exactly what I did.

I opened her up and, indeed, found the babies......all looking very still and dead.
I could not ascertain exactly what the complication was but managed to deliver 6 dead looking babies, one of which was quite malformed so perhaps this was, at least in part, some explanation.

I don't know what made me do this, but I took one of the babies, removed the surrounding fluid sac and kind of massaged it all over. I'm not at all sure why because I was already sure that they were all dead!
After perhaps 3 minutes of massage, the little pinkie I was "poking" opened its mouth wide and took its first breath!! :shock: :shock:

I could not believe it.

My friend and I washed it in warm water, dried it off and ran it up to a foster cage (still looking quite dead by the way, even after it's first breath).

Between us, we delivered, massaged, saw the first breath, washed, dried and ran up to the foster cage, 5 babies (the 6th being the malformed one who was never alive) all in a race against time.

I was well aware that the foster parents might not accept these mice so prepared for the worst, but now, 2 days after, the babies are all alive, doing well and are being taken good care of by foster mothers.

I'm so very proud that I delivered those babies and managed to save them.
I didn't know I was capable of doing such intricate work (I didn't even scratch a baby with the scalpel) and that I had the stomach for doing an autopsy of this nature.
I didn't know that the babies could be saved after going so long not breathing.

I've learned a great deal from my own experience and the reason I'm posting the story is that perhaps it can help someone in a similar situation in the future.

So yes....I have a current litter of Silvers :D :D :D
See less See more
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
You rock! Well done :D

Sarah xxx
Yay! :)
Fabulous! Good timing, and great instincts combined with skill, and a great story. I've given CPR to a few meeces, one of which 'died' in my hands after serious seizure. She revived and is still with me after over a half a year.
Bloody Silvers! I had a simular problem with a Cham, while i was away at a show they had go stuck in her and one was half way out and had dried. I managed to get it out after a hour of warm water and massage and then she delieved the rest, they were all dead but she was fine afterwards.

What made you do the autopsy? i would be far to scared and grossed out to do anything like that so fair play to you lol
The secret garden said:
What made you do the autopsy? i would be far to scared and grossed out to do anything like that so fair play to you lol
Mmmmm, I did the autopsy for a number of reasons.....

Primarily, I wanted to see if I could save the babies, because up to the point at which the mother was culled they were wiggling strongly (and I need those babies)

Next reason: I'm a science geek and study Biology at nightclass. As such, I had a genuine interest in what had gone wrong.

Thirdly, I'm really quite passionate about Mouse Breeding and take it (perhaps a little too) seriously. I knew that, to know the inside anatomy of my mice, would make me a more knowledgeable breeder in the future.

Discalimer: I'm not at all suggesting that every mouse breeder should run and cut open their mice!

It was not something I relished doing and I thought carefully for a lengthy time before I decided to go ahead. I did not enjoy it in any way but I am very glad I did do it and I would do it again if the need arose.

Thanks for all the kind comments :D
See less See more
Excellent, glad it worked out well for the babies. Ive had a few does which have died during (usually after) having complications during birth. I can think of one inparticular which appeared to be struggling for days before dying. I wish I had the confidence to decide that something is wrong and take action like you did in this situation. I am always intrigued about causes of death and wouold love to do mini autopsies. Im going to have to get myself a scalpel set.

I hope the babies continue to do well.
Congrats and WOW to your skills! Good training for a vet!
Thankyou again for all the kind comments everyone :D

I did wonder if everyone would think I am some kind of sicko (I'm really, really not), but thought it worth posting the story to the forum anyway. If it helps out even one breeder in a similar situation it will have been worth it.

I only wish I was a vet in training Autumn, but I missed the boat for that years ago.....

An update...all babs still doing well with their foster mothers :D :D :D
You're not the first breeder I've heard of who dissected their deceased mice to see what the problem was. Nothing new to me.

I have to give you kudos, I could've never done that... I'm squimmish. Although I did have a similar experience with a rat once, I think that was where my last marriage went horribly wrong, the night I woke him up with a dead rat and a knife and asked him to please cut it open and get the babies out.
nuedaimice said:
I have to give you kudos, I could've never done that... I'm squimmish
Funny thing is, so am I. I'm a vegetarian for goodness sake!

nuedaimice said:
I did have a similar experience with a rat once, I think that was where my last marriage went horribly wrong, the night I woke him up with a dead rat and a knife and asked him to please cut it open and get the babies out.
Is it ok that this made me laugh? :lol: :lol:
What a wonderful story!
I had a doe a couple of months ago, that died just before giving birth. If I had a scalpel, I would have done the same, just to see what went wrong.
Thanks for the update on your babies; I don't think you are sick at all. In fact, there are many occasions when I wish I had a basic dissection tray, tools, and a microscope. But then, I was involved with experimental small animal surgery decades ago in high school, and went back to school for advanced biology in which I dissected and laid out the nervous system of a worm of some was only a few inches long, but I don't remember the species. I love looking at the insides of critters.
Is it ok that this made me laugh?
Certainly, it makes me laugh when I think back on it! LOL

I probably need to stay off this thread now, some of these comments make my skin crawl. Darn my vivid imagination...
I am a vet in training... But for large animal. I've done cats and horses, but nothing as small as a mouse. I had a boy die unexpectedly on me, and I still have my disection kit... Should have looked into him if I only thought about it. LOL, once my parents saw a dead squirrel on the side of the road, and called to ask if I wanted to disect it! :lol: What can I say, they're very tolerant. And the nurses (human nurses) who work with my mom told her horror stories of not finishing their dissection in class, so they had to bring it home to stick in the fridge for homework. I think my mom's grateful I didn't try to stick the dead horse in the fridge...
To think a thread about disection could be this funny.... a dead rat and a knife and a mother whos not grossed out! Brilliant
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.