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Experimental prevention of bitterweed (Hymenoxys odorata) poisoning of sheep



Experimental prevention of bitterweed (Hymenoxys odorata) poisoning of sheep



American Journal of Veterinary Research 50(9): 1642-1646



To examine the effects on bitterweed toxicity of dietary factors known to increase thiol concentrations in the body, 36 lambs were fed one of the following diets (12 lambs/diet) for a minimum of 9 days prior to bitterweed administration: diet 1, 10% crude protein; diet 2, 20% crude protein, 0.5% methionine, 0.5% sodium sulfate, and 1,102 IU of vitamin E/kg; and diet 3, diet 2 with 0.5% ethoxyquin hydrochloride added. Four lambs fed each diet were euthanatized prior to bitterweed administration (initial euthanasia group). Four lambs fed each diet were administered bitterweed (0.68% hymenoxon, air-dried basis) at a rate of 0.25% of live weight for 5 consecutive days. The remaining four lambs on each diet served as unchallenged controls. In the initial euthanasia group, diet 2 increased extracellular blood thiol concentrations (1.12 vs 0.94 mg of SH/d1, P less than 0.10), rumen fluid thiol concentrations (4.46 vs 1.88 mg of SH/d1, P less than 0.05), and liver thiol concentrations (263.6 vs 109.3 micrograms SH/g of wet wt, P less than 0.05), compared with diet 1. Ethoxyquin hydrochloride (diet 3) reduced blood thiol concentrations (0.94 vs 1.12 mg of SH/dl, P less than 0.10) liver thiol concentrations (151.6 vs. 263.6 micrograms of SH/g of wet wt, P less than 0.05), compared with diet 2. Kidney thiols were unaffected by treatments. In lambs fed diet 1, bitterweed increased serum creatinine (P less than 0.05) and urea nitrogen (P less than 0.10) concentrations and gamma-glutamyltransferase (P less than 0.05) and aspartate transaminase (P less than 0.05) activities; whereas, only serum creatinine (P less than 0.05) and urea nitrogen (P less than 0.05) concentrations were increased by bitterweed in lambs fed diet 2 and none of these serum constituents were increased by bitterweed in lambs fed diet 3. These results demonstrate that dietary components that increase thiol concentrations protect against bitterweed poisoning. However, this does not appear to explain the additional benefit from including ethoxyquin hydrochloride in the diet.

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Accession: 001831910

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PMID: 2802343



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