ISSN: 2453-7209 CRICKETT




The CRICKETT Redaction is exclusively interested in small rodents coughing or displaying any cough-like behavior.

Examples: Sneezing, burping, hiccuping, or anything alike - including unknown or unnamed phenomena.

Both lay people and experts are welcomed to participate. Researchers can contact us with their results or side-effects from ethically conducted and officially approved studies. Everybody else, please only submit your accidental / purely naturally originated (i.e., not experimental) videos of small rodents (mice, rats, degus, hamsters, gerbils, etc.). They can be either your pets or wildlife filmings, it does not matter.

Displays of intentionally caused discomfort or harm to animals are not acceptable here (except ethically approved gentle research).

If selected, you can be listed as a contents provider or even included as a co-author in the eventually resulting publication (based on the extent of your contribution, and based on the overall success of this international survey). This is an open access science and there is no monetary or other compensation for the videos or information provided.

after reading a few introductory paragraphs:


To confirm or disconfirm the existence of coughing and its different forms in various small rodents.


  • The coughing in mice was discovered just a decade ago (in 2013) and is still doubted.

  • In many other rodents, there is even less information (or no information) available.

  • For pet keepers, it's extremely rare to notice and objectively document any coughing-like behavior.

  • For researchers, there is insufficient knowledge about natural coughing patterns and cough-provoking chemicals or other irritating factors in individual rodent species.


The idea is to collect the scarce and scattered information from scientists as well as laypeople. Both research-originated and accidental data from all countries will then be merged on a single web site. Such webpage and the accompanying scientific article will be eternally updated with future new findings and refinements (which is the primary mission of this CRICKETT journal).


The project's aim is to prevent the misdiagnosis of coughing and its erroneous mix-ups with other similar symptoms (burps, hiccups, spasms, etc.).


The potential benefits of project outcomes are obvious: (i) enabling effective and quick differential diagnosis in veterinary medicine; (ii) improved animal welfare in general - pets, research animals, helping wildlife; (iii) reliable monitoring of protective respiratory reflexes in animals serving as models of human disease.


Mice are probably the best studied small research mammals used as models of human diseases. Still, it was scientifically reported that until 2013 the ability of mice to cough was unverified and its existence highly questionable (see references below). Even after the 2013 murine-cough-proving study, the controversies and debates still continue. Scientific sources suggest that human-made visual observations and acoustic inspection are insufficient to recognize murine expectoration. Therefore, immensely sensitive instruments must be used to detect the extremely subtle cough-associated sounds and body movements in small mammals. On the other hand, some veterinary practitioners sometimes label audible and clearly visible body jerks in rodents as coughing and prescribe antibiotics. If the 2013 report is true and murine coughing is invisible and inaudible to humans (or if it does not exist at all), then the pronounced barks and twitches in other sick rodents may not be incidents of coughing. Thus, perhaps certain animals can be wrongly diagnosed with respiratory infection when in fact they are choking on aspired foreign bodies, burping, hiccuping, or suffering from something else. Inter-species differences in this respect are poorly understood: Does coughing exist in rats, gerbils, hamsters, degus, squirrels, etc., and how does it look like?


Reports claiming the discovery of murine coughing in 2013

Chen L. et al: Detection of mouse cough based on sound monitoring and respiratory airflow waveforms (2013). PLoS One 8(3): e59263. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059263 | PMCID: PMC3605448 | PMID: 23555643 | (peer-reviewed scientific study)

Chen L. et al.: Real time mouse cough detection process (2013). (the article-associated video posted on Wikimedia Commons; the same as the clickable link on the left)
This is a very noisy 4-minute recording, quite monotonous. A mouse is placed in a gas chamber with an airways irritant. Can anybody see or hear any coughing here - either in the mouse (left) or on the equipment's displays (right)?

Gayle D: Of mice and phlegm: Scientists prove a mouse can cough, which will help discover treatments for colds in humans (2013-04-01). MailOnline / Science & Tech. (the associated popular-language news)


Amateur home-made recording of a suspicious abdomino-thoracic reflex in Octodon degus

Okram J: Audiovisual recording in common degu (Octodon degus) of unexplained sounds and jerks - possibly coughing (2022). These "barks" can come as single sounds, as a group of a few sounds, or in fits lasting many seconds with over a dozen "barks" in a quick succession (approximately 2 sounds per second).

● Question arisen: If mice cannot cough or cough inaudibly, can this video be an incident of coughing in a similarly sized / just slightly bigger degu? Are there any other published amateur or scientific records of degus coughing? How about other small rodents?


Sound wave analysis

It was hypothesized that subtle differences in sound frequencies, amplitudes and vocalization patterning could differentiate coughing from sneezing from hiccuping, and so on. This recording has captured 4 sneezes of a small rodent. Or are they really sneezes?? Can you tell what these sounds are? Eventually, are you interested in finding the ways how to tell various sounds apart? Then welcome to the team and register below:

EXAMPLE 4, 5, 6 . . .

Your videos, opinions or other data will be welcomed here...


  • Pet and laboratory rodents are mostly too small for common ventilometric measurements.

  • These animals tend to move constantly (difficult to immobilize).

  • These animals can suppress some patho-/physiological reactions when stressed out (by new smells, new environments, unknown people, unusual handling, etc.).

  • Many reflexes disappear or weaken in general anesthesia (often used during x-raying, CT and MRI scans).

  • Immobilization by general anesthesia (e.g., for fluoroscopic examination) may not be the best option during respiratory illness (suffocation risks).


Considering all the above facts, dilemmas and thoughts, as the first step it would be nice to have a record of all interrelated respiratory and/or gastrointestinal reflexes. These will be collected and arranged for side-by-side comparison for each species (e.g., a coughing in a rat, mouse and hamster; next to it a hiccuping in a rat, mouse and hamster; next to it a burping in a rat, mouse and hamster - and so on...). For the start, video and audio recording should suffice - presumably, it will be mainly accidental videos. Later, more animal species and additional diagnostic modalities could be added to deepen the analysis (dynamic fluoroscopy, spirometry-like measurements, spectral sound analysis, electromyography, etc.).

Every single bit of information counts.

Are you interested in this topic?