Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science


Farmers and ranchers have been faced with the problem of bloat for many centuries. Thus far there has been little concrete evidence form research in determining the cause, finding a cure or a preventive for bloat. Numerous preventives for bloat have been practically useless. Investigators have used oils and paraffin’s as prophylactic and therapeutic measure against legume bloat. Antibiotics have been used as preventatives with some success, antifoaming agents have little effect and are of short duration. Tranquilizers, a comparatively a new group of compounds, have produced spectacular results in combatting stress conditions in animals. The ideal effect of tranquilizers is to achieve a reduction in anxiety, tension, and nervousness without evidence of obvious depression or sedation. Of all the tranquilizers studied, reserpine has been most extensively studied in the laboratory and in clinical use. Tranquilizers work on the primitive parts of the brain, especially the hypothalamus and the reticular formation. These areas govern the basic life functions normally beyond voluntary control. These function are kept in exquisite balance by two mutually antagonistic nervous mechanisms, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. In the normal animal a majority of the rumen gases are lost by eructation and diffusion through the rumen wall into the blood stream. In bloated animals, however, eructation is arrested. Although there are many postulations as to the reason for this arrest, none are completely satisfactory. The one most frequently accredited with preventing gaseous escape is that the cardiac orifice cannot open. If this is the reason then any compound that inhibits excessive neural stimulation might prove beneficial. Reserpine is a tranquilizer that dose reduce muscular activity, or at least reduces excessive stress. Thus these experiments using reserpine are based upon the idea that maybe during grazing the cardiac orifice would remain placid enough so that the gas could escape. The information gathered in these experiments is described in the results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bloat in animals


Includes bibliographical references (pages 53-57)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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Included in

Dairy Science Commons