MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Do cows really explode when methane gases build up in their stomachs?

Date: Mon Sep 25 19:54:24 2000
Posted By: Ingrid Dodge, Grad student, Immunology
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 968950487.Zo

Dear Meghan:

Hm. Exploding cows for an English paper? I won't ask. According to Dr. David Lee, a colleague of mine, cows won't explode due to methane gas building up in their stomachs in warm weather. They can, however, die due to a syndrome known as bloat. Bloat occurs when the cow eats fresh clover or lucerne. These cause foam to build up in the cow's stomach. When the foam becomes stable, the gasses from fermentation build up and the cow literally bloats up. This can be rectified by inserting a pipe into the cow's stomach to release the pressure. If the pressure is not released, however, the cow can die from bloat.

Check out: bloat and dairyherd Hope this helps! Ingrid Dodge Madsci Admin

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