I was coming home last night and the street light in front of my house was out again so I was driving slowly down the hill. I see this mouse in the middle of the road going around in a counterclockwise circle following it's tail.

I stopped otherwise I would have ran it over. Then I park the car and get out and try and shoe the mice away into some bushes but it won't leave so I go around and park my car at the house. If it stayed there it would get run over for sure. When I looked at this mouse's face it looked really sad. I come back with a foam tray to push it a bit because I don't want to touch it, but it isn't budging.

Then I go get a broom to try and sweep it a bit but it runs around in a much bigger counterclockwise circle with small circles and then goes and sits in the middle of the road again. Then I'm trying to get it to move with the broom and it just sits there without minding being poked by the broom and it makes some sad squeaks and a sad face.

It was really late almost 1 a.m. but eventually I get it into a box and keep it in my back yard. I put in a bowl of water, a banana and some walnuts in the box and another box with holes on top so the birds don't get at the mouse.

Today I went to look and it had escaped the box somehow, eaten a bit of banana and left a few strands of hair in the water bowl so I thought the problem solved itself and the mouse went away. But then I saw the mouse 5 feet away half under a hedge in the yard and ants were crawling on the poor thing :(

I got a better box and then I got a kitchen mitten and wrapped it in plastic wrap so I could pick up the mouse and put it in the box. The mouse was really docile and it made these really sad squeaks. I think it started to play dead a little bit when I put it in the box.

How do I fix this mouse so it can go back into the wild and do mouse things?

tl;dr : I found a mouse that I think is either depressed, hurt it's foot, or is pregnant. I don't know if the mouse is exhibiting regular mouse behavior or if something is wrong with it. Also I don't know how to tell mouse gender so I can't rule out pregnant. But this mouse seems really unlucky or prone to dying, what should I do?

p.s. also I did my best to be descriptive but I most likely missed things so please feel free to ask me questions and I will do my best to answer them.

  • I'm sorry to hear about the mouse but I love the detail and effort you put into saving the thing. Kudos to you. I feel as if your a great person based on the time you spent on the little guy. Apr 5, 2017 at 3:55

3 Answers 3


I named the mouse Ganesh and he passed away between yesterday and this morning :(

The rest of this post is to help others who might stumble across this page with a pet or found animal that has similar signs or symptoms.

I'm sure that the mouse had consumed rat poison. I found a video of similar circular behavior on youtube where a mouse was poisoned:


http://www.attic-rat.com/howtopoison.html I know it was 1 of 2 possible types of poison.

"Anticoagulants: Includes warfarin, brodifacoum, flocoumafen, coumatetraly, difenacoum, and bromadiolone. Anticoagulants damage capillaries (the tiny blood vessels), and cause internal bleeding (hemorrhaging). This process takes a few days. Documented cases of human warfarin poisoning record severe pain from bleeding into muscles and joints. In the final phase, the animal dies of hypovolemic circulatory shock."

"Cholecalciferol: It produces hypercalcemia, which results in systemic calcification of soft tissue, leading to renal failure, cardiac abnormalities, hypertension, CNS depression, and leads to death in 24-36 hours."

Researching online it says there is no antidote for cholecalciferol but I don't think he took that because the mouse didn't urinate for the 2 days that he was with me, unless he already had kidney and bladder failure.

I think it was the anticoagulant type of rat poison and if I had known right away when I found him circling in the street the proper protocol would have been to give the animal the antidote of vitamin K which could have possibly saved his life, but I didn't know :(

I sincerely thank everyone who took the time to read my original post and an extra thank you for everyone who contributed here in giving me their best efforts to help save a life.

I hope that this current post and my experiences might help someone else save an animal in the future.


There are a lot of possible things that could be wrong with the mouse: emotional strain, illness, injury, etc. I would take the mouse to an exotic vet if you plan to keep it as a pet, or to a wildlife rehabilitation specialist if you want to release it back into the wild when it is healthy (be careful with the latter though as mice are the food that they feed healing raptors).

  • 1
    Remember that wild mice can carry (or carry ticks that carry) some nasty diseases (Lyme, for example). Disease, like injury, could account for odd behavior. Frankly, I think you might as well let the thing die without terrifying it by trapping it in a box.
    – keshlam
    Jul 29, 2015 at 21:40
  • Lyme disease isn't in Southern California which is where I am. It doesn't look terrified. Whenever I've seen the mouse it is always just sitting and not moving very much, which is the same thing it does when it is in the box.
    – Neil
    Jul 29, 2015 at 22:28
  • 1
    Sitting and not moving much, in a small prey animal, may be "don't notice me don't eat me I'm not here".
    – keshlam
    Jul 30, 2015 at 3:24

Honestly, your best bet is either a wildlife vet or rescue, who will either clear it or euthanise.

Aside from what the previous answer states, spinning around in a circle like that is usually a symptom of a bad ear infection or a pituitary tumour, which small rodents are quite prone to. For the former, antibiotics will clear it up, though with a wild mouse that is no easy task. For the latter, I am afraid there is nothing you can do to help.

If there is a wildlife/general rodent rescue in your local area, I would strongly recommend taking it to them. In the meantime, feed it seeds, nuts, and locally-found fruits. Keep it warm and give it somewhere to hide in the dark.

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