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Intoxication of sheep with quebracho tannin extract

AuthorsHervás, Gonzalo ; Pérez Pérez, Valentín ; Giráldez, Francisco Javier ; Mantecón, Ángel R. ; Almar, M. M.; Frutos, Pilar
KeywordsQuebracho tannin
Tannin intoxication
Issue Date2003
CitationJournal of Comparative Pathology 129(1): 44-54 (2003)
AbstractThis experiment was carried out to study the toxicity of quebracho tannin extract (containing 760 g of condensed tannins [CTs] per kg), with the aim of validating its use as a feed additive for improving the digestive utilization of protein-rich feeds. Four groups (Q(0), Q(1), Q(2) and Q(3)) of four sheep were dosed intra-ruminally once daily, for up to 21 days with, respectively, 0, 0.5, 1.5 or 3.0 g quebracho tannin extract/kg live-weight (LW). Feed intake, live-weight changes, plasma biochemistry, indicators of hepatic detoxification function, gross lesions and histopathology were examined. Animals in groups Q(0), Q(1) and Q(2) consumed all the offered feed. In contrast, feed intake was practically nil after 6 days of quebracho dosing in group Q(3), this being associated with a loss of 4.7+/-1.30 kg LW in 10 days (P<0.05). Sheep from groups Q(0), Q(1) and Q(2) remained healthy throughout the experiment. Ewes from group Q(3) became weak and depressed on day 5 and after 8 days of dosing remained recumbent. They were humanely killed after 10 days to avoid suffering. In general, neither gross lesions nor microscopical changes were observed in animals from groups Q(0), Q(1) and Q(2). However, Q(3) sheep showed striking lesions in the digestive tract (well-demarcated ulcers filled with necrotic material in the mucosa of the rumen and reticulum, distension of abomasum and small intestine, and dense mucous material in the caecum), and changes in plasma biochemistry. Cytochrome P-450 and glutathione concentrations were significantly reduced in Q(3) sheep (P<0.05). It is concluded that quebracho tannin extract is not toxic for ruminants, except in concentrations too high to be encountered under practical conditions.
Description11 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables.-- PMID: 12859907 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Jul 2003.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0021-9975(02)00168-8
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