Why do mice cry red tears?

People who own rats and mice may be shocked when they see their pet rodent has red tears and nasal secretions. Red crusts may also develop around your pet’s eyes and nose, and the forepaws may be red from rubbing the face. This redness is not caused by blood, but by the secretion of a red pigment called porphyrin. This pigment is released from a gland behind the eye called the Harderian gland. (The scientific name for the colored tears is chromodacryorrhea.) Although the red coloration is not blood, the red tears suggest your pet rodent may be ill because they cry these tears when they are sick or stressed.


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