Did You Know? June 5, 2018 Edition

The Ranch is starting a new periodic feature called “Did You Know?” beginning today. I plan to take various issues or weirdness and share info about it. Today’s entry proved to be a bit of a doozy but one you too may have experienced.

You know that gurgling sound that comes from your dog’s stomach? Did you know it’s got an actual name? “Borborygmi.” Nope, that’s not a typo, borborygmi, pronounced [bawr-buhrig-mahy]. What the dog?! Yeah, I know. I was blown away too. If anyone can explain why science has to get all ‘scientific-y sounding’ with its descriptions, I’d love to hear it. 

Anyway, Sam recently experienced some unusually loud stomach gurgling. I mean REALLY loud. So I did what many fur-mom’s do…I consulted Dr. Google while waiting for the vet to call back. Not one to put blind faith in ‘Net misinformation hyperbole, I figured I’d do a bit of research and the kindly Doc did provide lots of rabbit holes to dive into where I rather quickly found some reliable sources. Dogs, cats and even us uprights experience ‘borborygmi.’

The simple  definition is intestinal agitation caused by moving gas. Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place? So let’s dig a bit deeper into this weird scientific phenomena. So it’s apparently normal for there to be gas in the intestinal tract and it’s also normal for the intestines to engage in motility…the condition whereby intestinal contents move around, thus audible intestinal gurgling is pretty normal.

According to Dogster, “abnormally loud intestinal noises occur when the intestines contain abnormally large quantities of gas, or when the intestines experience abnormally increased activity. Both of these phenomena often occur simultaneously.” Super loud (as in, you can hear it from across the room) is not normal but does not necessarily mean a crisis is brewing. Stomach grumbling may indicate something is off or, your pet could be hungry. Empty intestines in dogs may start to exhibit activity in response to anticipated feeding, thus the audible intestinal noises, or “tummy grumbling” may occur. Serving a meal usually takes care of that since the intestines of hungry animals do not contain significant quantities of food and thus have a higher ratio of gas to solids. Okay,so far  this sounds legit.

In Sam’s case, he acted normal (well, as normal as he is capable of acting). He displayed no other symptoms indicating there was a problem (i.e. lethargy, fever, stuff like that). But then he began experiencing some diarrhea. Not good but I figured a couple of days of bland rice and pumpkin meals should clear up the upset. Sadly, it didn’t clear up and I feared dehydration so off to the vet we went.

I wasn’t able to get into my regular TV star vet any time soon but they were able to refer me to another clinic close by. They asked whether Sam “had perhaps partaken in some sort of digestion indiscretion” (a diplomatic way of saying your dog may have gotten into the trash or had eaten some novel food or worse…goose poop…really? who admits to that). Nope, nothing like that had occurred, so they decided Sam was suffering from a minor gastro-bug after ruling out intestinal parasites, IBD, or foreign bodies (which would be Elsa’s speciality).

Long story short (ironic since we’re probably 600+ words in but I digress)…a couple of doses of Metronidazole for inflammation and an antibiotic for the bug, brought Sam back to normal poops while simultaneously clearing up those loud gurgling sounds. Other than expecting specially prepared meals after recovering (sheesh talk about one spoiled baby), he’s back to his usual knuckleheadedness.

So the next time your pooch’s stomach is gurgling figure out if he’s just hungry or suffering from borborygmi. Your family will think you’re trying to land a fat contract on Animal Planet but if he eats with his normal enthusiasm and the noises stop, the problem is solved. If like Sam it was accompanied with diarrhea, put your TV career on hold and check with your vet to rule out other issues.

I’m better now. So where’s the Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

63 thoughts on “Did You Know? June 5, 2018 Edition

  1. It took us a long time but we finally figured out that fish caused this problem with Pierre. He hasn’t had an episode in a good while now. His always culminated with a bile vomit. UGH!

  2. I am an expert in stomach gurgling! Both my dogs experience it with some regularity, usually when they have eaten something un-kosher around the yard. It can get so loud I can hear it from a different room! But it’s mostly innocuous. When it happens to Portia, she likes it if I massage her tummy and move the air along….

  3. Where do they come up with these names you can’t pronounce haha. that was very interesting, glad that Sam is back to normal!
    Hazel & Mabel

  4. It’s the same in peeps too! Though, with peeps is usually IS a sign that there is gonna be..um…lots of poops! BOL! ( just ask Ma when she partaked in lots of SUGAR FREE cough drops and a couple hours later…same thingie! pees: beware of SUGAR FREE anything! ☺) Anyhu, Ma did not knows the word for this in doggies, butts now there is another word she cannot possibly pronounce!!! BOL
    Glads you’re okay Sam!!!
    Ruby ♥

  5. This was really interesting…thank you for sharing! I like to snuggle with Luke in the mornings, and sometimes if I lay my head on his side, I will hear some of that gurgling. I don’t worry since he is fine otherwise, but I still wondered about it (if I should be worried!). It’s great to know that is probably just happening because he hasn’t had his breakfast yet.
    Oh, and I love “digestion indiscretion”!! Luke eats a lot of stuff that worries me…that I’d hate to admit to anyone, and it’s such a relief when it doesn’t seem to bother him (knock wood)!

  6. Now THAT is some interesting info!!!!! Glad Sam is ok! What I hate is after Dakota eats he comes and burps…right in my face. That photo of Sam is adorable!!!!

  7. Lots of times, Mom gives me a cookie in the morning so I don’t get too hungry before breakfast. The cookie makes my tummy rumble. Now we know why! Thanks!

    Love and licks,

  8. Now you’ve gone and done it. I used to be the Sgt. Schultz of the avian set (“I know nothing”) but now I know what borborygmi is. I was happier being ignorant.

  9. Thank you for the explanation of the tummy grumbling issue. I thought Siddhartha Henry was getting sick & realized he was just hungry…..it was like there was a ‘gremlin’ in his tummy, hahaha!!
    ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen & ~~head rubsss~~ Siddhartha Henry~~

    1. I’d always assumed there was something brewing in a gurgly tummy but to learn most often it’s just hunger was eye-opening for me too. Always a great day when you learn something new and fascinating, isn’t it? Hope you guys are well and staying cool.

      1. With Mingflower having Kidney Disease & NYLABLUE having IBD & P SH having IBD I panic over every little gurgle!!!! This article put my mind at ease….
        Sometimes a rose is just a rose right????

    1. I found it quite fascinating there’s a whole condition for something like stomach rumbling! Hopefully this series of posts will be enlightening for others. Thanks for your continued support! 😍

  10. I love weird words like this.
    The reason medical terms are bizarre sounding is because way way back in the day, every educated person knew Latin and a smattering of Greek in addition their native language. It was a status symbol. Doctors, of course, were educated people, and needed that status symbol to enforce their authority.
    By the way, the all time champion borborgymizers are elephants. They rumble right along through the whole day and most of and night. When they want to be really quiet, they can still their gurglings for short times. They even use their tummy sounds to communicate to the rest of the herd that “everything’s okay”.
    But Sam’s not an elephant, so I’m glad he’s been able to overcome his tummy gurgles.

    1. Whoa…did not find anything so interesting about elephants! Yeah I knew about the Latin and Greek thing but still think how bizarre to use a $50 word when a $5 one will do just fine. Borborygmi is a real tongue twister, that’s for sure.

  11. These are the times when I wish they could speak English and tell us what’s happening. The other times, I don’t want them to speak to complain they do not like their food, or want to go out more, or why in the world don’t I let them run amok through the neighborhood.

    1. Yeah I’m thinking it’s probably just as well I don’t know what’s going on in those poodle brains. It just might offend my sensitivities. Though it would be helpful for them to ‘tap out’ when they’re feeling a bit under the weather. BOL

  12. Dogs get gas? I wonder how the gas gets out? Well, in Max’s case it’s “silent but violent” and can clear a large room. Anyway, happy to hear Sam’s gut is back in shape…hate to see the pupsters in distress. I am saving that descriptive term for my next Scrabble match.

  13. Tummy issues are never fun but I’m sure glad that Sam is doing well once again! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    1. Thanks for the well wishes. I’m thankful he’s doing better too. Now if only he’d not be so picky. That dog thinks I need to be Rachel Ray or something when it comes to fixing his meals! 😁

  14. Somewhere out there is someone (probably an English major who got tired of flipping burgers) whose sole job responsibility is to come up with weird and exotic sounding names for things which never needed to have official words before. The next time my rack of Scrabble tiles looks hopeless, I’m going to remember Borborygmi…

      1. YES! That was so weird. Now I can tell daddy what he has when his tummy does it…. snorts with piggy laughter. I always knew he was part pooch. XOXO – Bacon

    1. {snicker} Yesterday he looked at his bowl and then back at me like I had somehow insulted him. He sniffed, then he walked away from his breakfast yesterday so I put it up so the Ninja wouldn’t bogart it. To say he changed his tune for dinner was an understatement. He ate every single bite. 😄

      1. My cat who eats anything, had a hissy fit this morning. She eats a mix of a healthy and standard cat food (she or course prefers the standard over the healthy). This is not a cat that can go on a hunger strike longer than 3 minutes. I’ll probably capitulate and give her what she wants for supper. #foreheadtattoosayssucker

  15. Interesting,, I can’t say that I have ever experienced this problem with my dogs and certainly not with Benji. Then again, perhaps my hearing is defective.

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