Do mice vomit? Can mice even burp? These are actually interesting questions, even if the topic is a little gross.
And valid questions too, because the answer isn’t what most people think.
The answer is – No – mice cannot vomit. This means they can’t be sick, throw up, however you want to describe it.
Mice cannot even burp or belch – there, that’s all the gross terminology out of the way.
It’s actually uncommon for mammals not to be able to vomit. Without going through a long list of different species, most mammals have the vomiting reflex, as you are aware we do.
As much as we all dread throwing up as it means we’re sick (or hungover), being sick actually serves a purpose health-wise.
Ever been sick and thought almost immediately afterward you feel better? This is because it’s your body’s way of getting the offending bacteria, illness, etc, out so you can start recovering.
Think about this next time your pet mice are showing signs of being ill. Such as having diarrhea, watery eyes, acting lethargic, or showing any signs they are not well.
They may have an upset tummy too and being unable to vomit and get the illness out of their bodies causes them some extra issues.
This is why carbonated drinks, in particular, are on the banned list of foods for mice and other rodents. The last thing they want is a build-up of gas in their stomachs that they can’t pass!
How Do We Know Mice Can’t Vomit?
There are studies for almost everything and anything imaginable – even why mice don’t vomit.
Here’s a study carried out by the University of Pittsburgh into the subject if you want some further scientific insight.
Basically, the researchers gave a number of different species of rodent an agent that induces vomiting and observed the results.
Mice, along with some other rodents like rats didn’t vomit. It’s believed the reason for this might be because they have a longer esophagus than vomiting mammals, animals, and so on.
It was also hypothesized that mice might lack certain neural circuits that also might be the cause behind other beings being able to vomit.
Either way, it’s very clear that mice cannot vomit.
What Are the Issues with Mice Not Being Able to Vomit?
The main reason we vomit is to get all the bad stuff out of our bodies. Our bodies are designed to know when we have something that’s making us sick in our stomachs, so we throw it up.
Mice have become very good at dealing with intestinal issues without being able to throw up. But this does present some additional potential dangers for them.
But, they do get tummy upsets just as we do, it’s just going to be a lot more uncomfortable. And, in the extreme, it can potentially be fatal.
This is why you have to be very careful about what you feed pet mice. I’ve put together a list of some of the best foods and treats that are safe for mice to eat here if you want to ideas.