Pain Faces

You asked do mice have pain faces….answer.
Not when we give them EAE!
However, if an animal is in pain you can tell and yes they do have pain faces

Langford DJ, Bailey AL, Chanda ML, Clarke SE, Drummond TE, Echols S, Glick S, Ingrao J, Klassen-Ross T, Lacroix-Fralish ML, Matsumiya L, Sorge RE, Sotocinal SG, Tabaka JM, Wong D, van den Maagdenberg AM, Ferrari MD, Craig KD, Mogil JS. Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nat Methods. 2010; 7:447-9.
Facial expression is widely used as a measure of pain in infants; whether nonhuman animals display such pain expressions has never been systematically assessed. We developed the mouse grimace scale (MGS), a standardized behaviioral coding system with high accuracy and reliability; assays involving noxious stimuli of moderate duration are accompanied by facial expressions of pain. This measure of spontaneously emitted pain may provide insight into the subjective pain experience of mice.



These pain faces were seen after delivery of acute painful stimuli.

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  • Hamsters, in my limited experience of observing this (they don't have a naturally long life span), tend to squeak in an alarmingly high pitched tone when the little fellows are pain. Do your mice?

    • The beasties occasionally squeak but I think it is probably get you hands off me,

      I once had a the misfortune of working with some hooded rats that use to shriek when you picked them up…I think it was a fear or warning thing.

      Of course that puts fear into you, especially when they would be jumping over your shoulder, because when a rat bites you are bitten.(p.s. I have never been bitten by a rat..because I have good technique and I respect the animal).

      That is how we discovered the loo roll/Kitchen holder.You put the tude near its head, rats like dark places and tunnels so in they go on their own steam. They can't turn round because the tub is too small you let them get in and then hold the base of their tail so they can't leave the tube. It is dark and the rat stays calm and the head is in the tube so no way they can bite. We may then do the injection and them let the rat out of the other end. No stress for the rat, no struggling, no stress for the holder.

    • Yes, kitchen/loo roll has many uses with hamsters too – a Syrian hamster who liked to be alone but quite intelligent and two better tempered but dumb dwarf Russians hamsters, all dead now. Rats are not my favourite creatures and I'd be the one shrieking if I had to approach one.

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