Veterinary and Human Toxicology, 1994. Paper abstract bibtex
Efforts to increase livestock utilization of tarbush are being coupled with studies to examine tarbush toxicity. Thiry eight (19/treatment) ewe lambs were assined at birth to recieve either tarbush or alfalfa (15%, dry matter basis)in a sorghum-based growing ration. Lambs were pen-fed this diet 60 days pre-weaning and 60 days post-weaning. No differences existed beween treatments in feed consumption. In the tarbush group, one lamb died between 115 and 120 days of age. There were not deaths in the alfalfa group. Shortly before death, lambs fed tarbush appeard lethargic, disoriented and anorectic. At 122 days of age, five lambs were randombly selected from each group. Feces and jugular blood samples were obtained from each lamb before being euthanized and necropsied the follwing day. All fecal samples were negative for occult blood. Serum gamma glutamyl-transpeptidase (P\textless 0.001) and aspartate aminotransferase (P\textless0.001) activieyy and platlet counts (P\textless0.05) were elevated in lambs fed tarbush, while serum calcium concentrations tended (P\textless 0.10) to be greater. Histologic examinations revealed diffuse liver apopttosis in lambs fed tarbush. These data indicate tarbush leaves can cause liver damage when fed for extended periods of time.