NCBI ROFL: Finding the frequency of Fido's farts

By ncbi rofl | July 14, 2009 3:56 pm

Development of a technique for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs.

“Rectal gases were collected via a perforated tube held close to each dog’s anus and attached to a monitoring pump fitted with a sensor that recorded hydrogen sulfide concentrations every 20 seconds. Patterns of flatulence were monitored for 14 hours after feeding on 4 days, and within- and between-dog variation was assessed over 4 hours on 4 consecutive days. Rate of hydrogen sulfide production (flatulence index) and frequency and number of emissions were evaluated as potential indicators of flatus characteristics. An odor judge assigned an odor rating to each flatulence episode, and the relationship between that rating and hydrogen sulfide concentration was determined.”

Thanks to Tracy for today’s ROFL!

  • Deray

    Given the lack of follow up paper I can guess that no, this paper didn't aid in the study of colon morphology and/or pathology. It was just for a high EWWWW factor.

  • Ms Avery

    There are no words.

  • Andy

    LOL an odor judge.. hope they paid him well for that job

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what dog breeds they used. My parents' Welsh corgi is the fartingest dog I know. MY dogs, on the other hand, don't fart AT ALL.

  • Deray

    @Andy, I can bet it was a poor grad student :-S

  • Anonymous

    Today people would rather look into the microorganisms, namely methanogenic bacteria, in the dog's intestines. Which are by the way also the reason that some people fart more than others…

  • Anonymous

    How did they ever evade an IgNobel prize?

  • Cookie

    When will the human studies begin?

  • Brian Too

    How do you hold a perforated tube next to the dog’s, um, exterior orifice, for 14 hours?

    No no, I don’t want an answer really. I just want to sit here and speculate, as the imagining (not to mention reverse engineering) is entertaining as all get-out! Is it some kind of reverse, rear mounted injury collar? A Shop-Vac? Perhaps a portable gas chromatograph of some sort? Maybe they rig up a bunsen burner and use *visual* indicators of flatus?! RocketDog!

    And what does Fido think of this? “Well, that’s Big Dog, acting weird again!”

  • MSpears

    #4: Your dogs DO fart. They’re just more polite about it, and have mastered the silent fart. :) And their farts have less of the molecules that make them stink. But just because their farts are silent and don’t smell, doesn’t mean they don’t fart at all.

    Having said that, in general, the brachycephalic dogs (the ones with the pushed-in faces, like pugs, bulldogs, etc.) tend to swallow a lot more air into the stomach, and that air has to go SOMEWHERE. So, typically, the brachycephalic dogs are the ones that fart the most.

    As #6 points out, methanogenic bacteria are one of the reasons that some people fart more than others. This is true of dogs as well… which could explain why your parents’ Welsh Corgi is unusually flatulent for a non-brachycephalic breed.

  • Deviled Egg

    Those poor dogs! LOL


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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