This is a slightly larger than life-sized picture of a second infant mouse I took in today, lying in my hand. No name yet. We can't even be sure of the sex yet. I say it's a girl; Chris thinks it may be a boy.
"That thing up there is just the umbilical stump," I said, peering at it under 10x magnification.
"I was looking more at what might be the swelling down below where testicles might some day be," said Chris.
Well, we shall see, perhaps. If it lives.
So far, it's doing very well, but will need very labor-intensive care for two or three days, as in feeding every hour and a half round the clock, except that at night, I will stretch it to 2.5 hours. It's warmed, hydrated, feisty, and drinks very well from the teensiest little rubber hose you ever saw, about the thickness of a broomstraw, three or four drops per meal. Then, if you tickle its bottom with the corner of a tissue, it demonstrates that all its plumbing (girl plumbing!) is in good working order.
Is a baby mouse worth all this effort? Don't know. God knows. What I know is, I'm keen for the challenge of keeping it alive if humanly possible! (Many animals that find their way into rehab come to us because, unbeknownst to us at the time, their mothers have rejected them. Mother animals somehow just know when a baby isn't viable, and do not waste their precious resources - time, milk, and effort - on it.)
For more photos of some of our recent intake babies, check out the ARK website.
Must run. Have to set up a nebulizer so this baby won't dry up from its box being set atop a heating pad.
P.S.) Demetrios ended up having to buy a new car today. Well, new to us. It's a 2005 Impala with 56,000 miles on it. Very comfy, drives well, and we got it an excellent price from a Greek friend who owns the dealership.
UPDATE: Nope, mousie didn't make it. Probably a good thing, as I really don't know how I could have spared the sleep...
Wednesday, April 30, 2008