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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am new to this forum :) Not to mice though.

At christmas I had a minor disaster - in the same night, all of my females and one of my males escaped. Eeek.

Of my 17 girls, I have/had 6 definitely pregnant and 2 I am watching.

Two have now given birth, but one of them is cannibalising badly - so far I have had 20 pups born, from 2 litters, and only 5/6 remain that I know of - last time I checked properly the third girl was giving birth so I have not counted since.

I'm assuming it's stress, but I do wonder if something else is making things worse. Although I wouldn't call them tame, my girls are used to being handled after the daily weigh-ins to work out how many litters were on the way. I have had mice give birth who were in no way, shape or form tame (the mothers of these mothers if that makes sense, they were pregnant/nursing when I took them on from the RSPCA), and they didn't eat a single one of their 16 babies. I have also in the past deliberately bred 9 litters - and only lost 2 babies. So this seems very extreme to me.

The mother that I believe is doing the killing has what my vet believes is a blocked teat - she has a big lump under one teat and the vet could see a plug blocking it. This turned up two days before birth so the vet wasn't keen on aspirating it or giving her antibiotics in case it jeaopardised the birth/babies through stress.

Could the lump be a contributing factor? I can remove that mouse from the group with some non-pregnant friends for company, with Aoife giving birth today and so few pups milk won't be a problem. I'm just trying to work out why it's so bad.
 

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Have you seperated the girls out? Or have you kept the pregnant ones together?

By experience I have found that if pregnant does are kept together and there is more than two or three days between girls delivering, a doe can eat anothers litter before giving birth to her own.

Willow xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't no, without knowing 100% exactly who is pregnant (and some I thought weren't appear to be now) I didn't want to split them. They are in a huge 6ft cage though.

Thing is, the one doing all the eating was only the second to give birth and it was the day after the first - she left the original 16 alone that first day and gave birth herself less than 24 hours later. Aoife's litter born today were less than 24 hours again after hers and she's still munched some :|
 

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I'd remove her if there are other does feeding the babies. It sounds like you are describing mastitis. This needs antibiotics now, and taking her away from feeding duties will allow you to give them to her. If she is ill then I am not surprised she is killing some of the babies. Also, I find that does prefer smaller tanks to give birth and raise litters in than they live in otherwise, so a 6ft tank may make them feel exposed and vulnerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what i thought, if she's in pain and not well then suckling babies would be unpleasant for her.

I have rearranged them this morning - she is now still in the 6ft cage but with only the non-pregnant girls.

The pregnant (and a couple suspected) girls have been split between two 2ft tanks. Aoife is in with the babies and two other girls, and the other 4 are in another 2ft plastic cage. One has just given birth - thank god, I thought she was going to explode!! - and they do seem a lot more relaxed already, I have only glimpsed the pups but they were feeding nicely.

Another part of the problem seemed to be one of the mother's mothers, if that makes sense - she is still very motherly even now and was moving some of the pups, I have found two dead this morning that had been moved randomly so didn't get fed. She is of course with the non-pregnant group now.

Fingers crossed everything seems much more settled, the expecting girls weren't bothered by me checking they'd settled in to their tanks so hopefully things will go better from now.

Re. the mastitis, which is what I thought it was - is that treatable with Baytril or something else? I have some baytril to hand (I had a rat with a respiratory infection, sadly now gone but plenty of baytril and an unused syringe left) and if that's what the vet is likely to prescribe, I'd rather get on with treating Bea now rather than waiting to take her in on monday. Her lump hasn't grown at all but it hasn't shrunk or changed otherwise either.
 

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To be honest, I expect they would probably give you baytril as there aren't that many things licensed for mice (that's what I was told anyway!). It's a broad spectrum antibiotic though so as I'm sure you know it can be hit and miss as it doesn't target the specific problem. There is a member on here who is a vet (Kallan I believe) so you might want to PM and ask her :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quick update. Bea's lump is shrinking well, and since the movaround things have calmed down. The remaining 5 are sadly now 3, but nest building has finally taken place and those 3 are growing nicely.

Of the other girls, Pigeon and Weasel have both had theirs and are fantastic mothers - Teasle in with them may have also had hers but as there are so many I'm not sure :shock: 16 between them and only one lost, I think that one was ill. All also growing nicely. :D

Thanks for the help all!
 
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