Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Posted by Hello

Lena is one of the eight pups born to Puddin' three weeks ago this past Saturday. In a few days, she will be four weeks old.

She is the one on the right in the picture above. For comparison's sake, when we took the photo this morning, we had her sister with her. As you can see, there is a very noticable difference in size. It only became apparent in the last 10 days. Before that, all the pups were growing at same rate.

From what we can tell, she is not ill, nor is she being ignored. We observe her nursing, she has started to nibble on adult food like her siblings, she explores the cage, snuggles with her Mom and siblings, etc. We began trying to supplement her with kitten formula using a feeding syringe, and she seems to enjoy the experience - both the extra little bits of food, as well as the attention. Her eyes are bright, and she seems happy. Just very small.

We're not sure why. Is she a runt? Or is there a small mouse strain/trait coming out in her? We're new to all of this. We've become rather fond of Lena, and hope all fares well...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is Jane Hare from mice@yahoogroups. I really believe your tiny mouse is fine. Years back my husband gave me a VERY young Satin, Champagne-coloured mouse who was VERY secretive for the first 10 days we had her at home and then gave birth to 10 babies... She had built the most wonderful 'cloud' of a nest, and remained mostly out of sight within it. We knew little about mice then, no internet, no really good books even.
Anyway, her babies all seemed the same size three weeks after birth when they started coming out of the nest and looking around, they proved to be several different shades from Champagne like Elise to very dark grey, and most grew to be far bigger than their Mother. Despite being only, according to our Vet, about 5-6 weeks old when she became pregnant, she raised all her babies beautifully. At 5 weeks we separated them all on Vet's advice. Four babies were VERY much smaller than the others. Poor Morris was the tiniest and from the start he had fits. He had extremely long fur and whiskers, and like all the tinies, misaligned front teeth. The four had jaws which were slightly twisted, and the front teeth did not meet properly. Despite Acorn, the boldest, being literally the size of an acorn, our Vet clipped the four tinies overgrown teeth and they all started grooming themselves, eating and drinking normally. In fact Acorn and Wilfred, two tinies lived the longest of all Elise's babies. Bunch, the fourth died at about 6 months. Morris succumbed at about a month, from increasing fits, Vet said there was nothing could be done for him. Acorn and Wilfred were wonderful little mice, HUGE characters and very interested, bold and lively all their lives, (both lived over two years). Wilfred was small enough to stand in the centre of a large poppy in the garden and have a look round himself without bending the poppy's head over. He also liked a particular rose in the garden with a apple-y scent, and pulled off the petals by clinging tightly with minute paws when I took him out in the garden for an airing and showed him the flowers. Finally the rose petal would dislodge itself and he would fall over backwards on my hand, grasping the petal firmly, right himself then eat the petal with relish, (we never spray anything in the garden). We loved all our unexpected family very much.

I am in England where I think our fancy mice are generally smaller than American ones ? We never found out why Elise's babies had four really tiny ones amongst them. Vet said it might be due to overcrowding in the womb, or the fact that the Satin type are smaller than 'normal' mice. Elise succumbed to a malignant tumour, as did three of her ordinary-to-large babies, the rest of those lived reasonable lives between 18-21 months. Since then I had the priviledge of sharing my life with a wonderful little black mouse named Susannah, who was very much smaller than our 'normal' type of mouse and had the same huge character as Elise's tinies, she was always very busy and careful, very clean and tidy, even choosing JUST the right pieces of torn up paper to cover all her foods up. She was originally the last mouse left in the tank at the petshop, (we do NOT have 'feeder tanks' here, that is illegal).

Sorry for this long post, hope it helps. I think your 'Tiny' will prove to be a pretty remarkable mouse !!!! she seems to be having the best care and feeding anymouse could wish for! all the very best to you all, Jane