Dr. Chris Brown, ISU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, (515) 294-2061
Dr. Karl Kersting, Large Animal Clinic/ISU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, (515) 294-1500
Phyllis Peters, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602

Vet College's steer Bud dies

AMES, Iowa – "Bud," a brown Swiss steer that served for 17 years as a fluid donor at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, recently died of a lung abscess. Over the years, college doctors extracted rumen fluids from the 1,800-pound Bud to assist bovines suffering from digestive problems.

Bud arrived at Iowa State in 1983, a gift from the federal government. Iowa State veterinarians placed a lid in Bud's left flank to provide an opening to his stomach.. Medically, the lid is called a fistula and it caused no discomfort to the animal.

The opening gave veterinarians access to Bud's rumen, the largest compartment in a bovine's four-chambered stomach. Fluid taken from Bud's healthy rumen was given to approximately 50 ailing bovines annually. Bud also served as a blood donor.

Bud became something of a celebrity among school youngsters, who gained an understanding of the bovine digestive system, while visiting Bud and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

College sources say they will purchase rumen from alternative sources until another rumen donor is available to serve as Bud's replacement.


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