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Physiol Behav. 1992 Mar;51(3):643-6.

The effect of feeding on defecation behaviour in pigs.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


The effect of eating on defecation behaviour was investigated in four 20-30 kg pigs. Rectal distention stimulation was performed pre- and postprandially at 10 cm from the anus with a 5 cm latex balloon. Volume was increased in steps of 10 ml up to 200 ml of air or until balloon defecation. Dependent measures were volume, rectal pressure, determined with a solid state pressure transducer inside the balloon probe, rectal compliance, and an index of distention induced contractile activity. The volume and pressure required to elicit defecation was significantly lower after feeding (p less than 0.01). Distention induced contractile activity was significantly increased near defecation threshold, but pre- and postprandial conditions were not different. There was no difference in rectal compliance pre- and postprandially. These results suggest that eating lowers defecation threshold in terms of distention volume and rectal pressure, and that these changes are not dependent on altered rectal compliance or changes in distention induced motor activity.

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