Can a Mouse Survive with a Broken Leg?

Whether it’s a pet mouse or a little friend, your cat has brought inside, seeing a mouse with a broken leg is devastating. Knowing how to address the situation correctly can mean the difference between life and death. If you know how to assist the mouse with his injury, it significantly improves his chances of survival.

Can a mouse survive with a broken leg? Yes, a mouse can survive with a broken leg, but he will need your help. The most important thing to do is to move him to a small cage and leave food and water nearby during his recovery. This is true for both pet mice and wild mice, although you should be careful not to get too close to wild mice.

It can be challenging to deal with a mouse with a broken leg. There isn’t a ton of research that’s been done on these animals, so finding the right information can be tough. This article will share some vital information about whether a mouse can survive with a broken leg and how you can help him while he is recovering.

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Can a Mouse Survive with a Broken Leg?

With the proper care and attention, a mouse can survive with a broken leg. It all depends on how he is treated, though. Ifa mouse is left alone outside, then he can become easy prey with a broken leg. In this situation, the chances of survival are bleak.

Seeing a mouse with a broken leg is heartbreaking, whether he is a well-loved family pet or a random mouse that’s been found around your home. These situations need to be handled differently, though, as wild mice are not domesticated like pet mice and can become more stressed, causing more pain.

Wild mice present more issues when under your care, such as:

  • They may carry diseases like Hantavirus that can be transmitted through their feces.
  • Since some wild mouse species are endangered, you can be fined for having a mouse that is a protected species. It is recommended to call your local, city, or state wildlife officials if you are caring for a wild mouse.
  • They may have a specialized diet that you are not aware of. It is recommended to call a veterinarian or wildlife shelter to find out if there are any nutritional requirements for the mouse. (These places can also manage the pain and medication requirements for the mouse, which is a plus.)

What to Do with an Injured Mouse

Pay close attention to the mouse you believe has a broken leg. The mouse will have a limp, and sometimes, there will be a visible injury such as a lump or sore. In either situation, it’s essential to act fast, so the injury does not worsen.

When assisting a mouse with a recovery from a broken leg, do the following:

  • Move the mouse into a small box or cage to limit his mobility. The more movement he has to make, the more pressure he’s placing on his leg, which will cause it to heal at a slower rate. Add soft padding to the bottom of the area to protect him further. Make sure that the mouse is housed alone.
  • Make food and water easily accessible. If the mouse has to struggle to get to these essentials, it will cause more harm than good.
  • If you are dealing with a wild mouse, make yourself scarce. Seeing humans can be very stressful for a wild mouse. Only show up when you’re adding food or water or checking in on the mouse. Wild mice may do best in a dark, quiet space far away from humans.
  • Always call a veterinarian for a mouse pet or a local rescue for a wild mouse. It’s unlikely that the veterinarian will have any solid advice, and some may suggest putting the mouse down entirely. This can be avoided, though, with proper care at home. A wild mouse should be placed in the care of a local rescue, so if there is one nearby, visit them.

Mouse Dragging Hind Legs

If you notice that your mouse is dragging his hind legs, it could be more than a broken leg. Most of the time, dragging the hind legs is associated with paralysis. This is most commonly seen in elderly mice. You can tell that the legs have weakened with age if the paralysis comes on gradually, rather than suddenly.

However, a younger mouse might drag his hind legs because he has paralysis caused by an injury or an infection. Mice try to hide their pain, as showing weakness can be detrimental in the wild. So, you can safely assume that he’s likely in more pain than he is letting on.

Whether young or old, if your mouse is struggling with paralysis, the best thing to do is to bring his food and water closer to him. This will make it easier for him to remain healthy while you find out what is happening to his hind legs. Toys should also be moved closer to him. Take care to wash your mouse daily to avoid further issues such as sores or lesions.

If your mouse is dragging his hind legs, he should be seen by a veterinarian. You can’t know whether it’s being caused by injury or infection, and both require different treatments. You can expect either antibiotics that need to be administered or physical therapy and massage to get the mouse back on track.

How to Nurse a Mouse Back to Health

Once you have your mouse in a safe location, you can begin nursing him back to health. Keep in mind that every situation is different and should be handled as such.

Here are some things to keep in mind when nursing a mouse back to health:

  • If antibiotics were prescribed, administer them correctly and on time. A broken leg might not require antibiotics, but there are many situations where a mouse is ill or injured and needs antibiotics.
  • Provide pain medication if directed to do so. Some vets may advise you to provide your mouse with pain medication. Sometimes it will be administered as a liquid, and other times it can be crushed and placed into the mouse’s food.
  • Wash your mouse regularly. If your mouse has paralysis or open sores, you will need to wash him with antibacterial soap at least once a day. It’s your job to ensure the infection doesn’t spread, which is a common occurrence in paralyzed mice or those who can’t walk properly because of a broken leg.
  • Keep him in a safe location. One of the best things you can do to keep your mouse safe, nurse him back to health, and prevent further injury is to have a safe space for him to live in. While he’s sick or injured, make sure he is kept alone in a soft, small cage.
  • Be careful when picking him up. You shouldn’t pick your mouse up regularly. But when you do, you should consider wearing gloves and being gentle with your rodent. This will keep yourself and the mouse in better health.


A mouse that is suffering from a broken leg can’t — and shouldn’t — be left to fend for himself. The best thing you can do is to place him in a small, soft cage and provide food and water.

Monitor the mouse, and if things do not improve, visit a vet. However, it’s likely that with the right amount of rest, food, and water, the mouse will heal just fine.