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· Administrator
2,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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

· Administrator
2,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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

· Administrator
2,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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

· Administrator
2,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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:
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