Do rodents like rats and mice feel pain?

If you examine a recent article in Applied Animal Behavior Science there are some very note worthy- facts about rodents (namely mice and rats). It concerns their aptitude for feeling pain. Researchers found that when Rats and mice were tickled or playfully handled they were relaxed and could better endure medical procedures. Handling rodents roughly or in a callus way made them fight against procedures, and they encountered more anxiety. The conclusion is that Rats and mice definitely have the capacity to feel both pain and pleasure. Researchers believe that a rodent uses its eyes to express pain. Rodents who were in agony exhibited narrowed eyes; had their ears flattened back, nostrils flared, and puffed out cheeks. They also noted that the other rats and mice had physiological reactions to their comrades in pain. the rats and mice observing the hurt animal were actually responding to visual cues and acting upon on a deeper level of empathy much like people do.

Science has already proven that rodents like rats and mice continuously communicate with each other through high-frequency sounds and certain body language. The pitches they use to “talk” are most often inaudible to the human ear. Not only do Rats and mice become emotionally attached to their families, they also seem form bonds with their human keepers. Rodent’s subject had a marked propensity for expressing empathy, affection, and a very protective nature for any creature they care for. Further Studies found d that when in pain, Rats and mice were likely make facial expressions mimicking their human keepers. The chart that measures these is a governed by precise formula scientists called the rodent “grimace scales,” Researchers can make use of this information determining an animal’s level of pain by watching the expressions on its face. The study goes on to say that other rodents can be seen responding in sympathy to a comrade rodent if it has a pained expression on its face. If the expression was extreme, some rodents would flee the area, especially if the other rodent seems to be duly unsuffering, while others seem to exhibit the same symptoms suffered by their fellow rodent. The action of mimicking other symptoms is a noted psychological phenomenon called “emotional contagion”.

With the knowledge those rats’ and mice can communicate exact feelings with their face and body language is an interesting breakthrough. We now know that rodents can tell one another how they are feeling, and can read our feelings as well. These findings could make us think about how we deal with rats in our homes, and our feelings about using them in certain types of medical research.

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Do rodents like rats and mice feel pain?

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