Flashback Friday: Finding the frequency and funkiness of Fido's farts.



Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/Tim DorrThink your job is bad? At least it doesn't involve judging the relative smelliness of dog farts. These researchers wanted to find a way to characterize dog farts "in vivo", so they did what anyone would do - held a tube next to the dog's butt to collect the farts, and then had "an odor judge [assign] an odor rating to each flatulence episode." The results? Dog farts vary a lot in frequency both within and between dogs, and they can be quite smelly. Dog fart odor judge, we salute you!Development of a technique for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs. "OBJECTIVE: To develop a noninvasive method for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs. ANIMALS: 8 adult dogs. PROCEDURE: 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. RESULTS: Flatulence patterns varied within and between dogs. Variation was most pronounced for flatulence index; mean coefficients of variance within dogs over time and between dogs on each day were 75 and 103%, respectively. Flatus with hydrogen sulfide concentrations > 1 parts per million could be detected by the odor judge, and severity of malodor was highly correlated with hydrogen sulfide concentration. Odor ratings were accurately predicted by use of the equation 1.51 X hydrogen sulfide concentration(0.28). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The technique described in this report appears to provide sensitive, reliable, and relevant data and will enable further studies of the factors that influence flatulence in dogs. Use of this technique also has the potential to aid in investigations of colonic physiology and pathology."

Related content: Sexually aroused by farts? You’re not alone.

NCBI ROFL: Which makes you gassier: pinto beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans?

NCBI ROFL: It's dogs…it's dogs in tights (TIGHT tights!)

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.