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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


CAMPOS, F.S. et al. Metabolic profile and histopathology of kidneys and liver of lambs fed silages of forages adapted to a semi-arid environment. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2019, vol.49, n.3, pp.555-563. ISSN 2221-4062.

Thirty-two mixed-breed ram lambs (average age, 5.6 ± 0.4 months, and average live weight, 17.61 ± 2.63 kg) were used to evaluate the effect of diets containing silages of forages adapted to a semi-arid environment on the metabolic profile in serum and the histopathological assessment of liver and kidney tissues of the lambs. Lambs were allocated, in a completely randomised design, to four treatments (silage of old man saltbush (Atriplex nummularia Lind), buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris), gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) and 'pornunça' (Manihot sp.). The feedlot period was 49 days, and animals were slaughtered at an average weight of 27 ± 4.6 kg. On the last day of the experiment, blood was collected from the jugular vein of all animals to measure the protein, metabolic and energy profiles of the lambs. At slaughter, kidney and liver samples were collected for histopathological examination. The consuming of the diet containing buffelgrass silage resulted in a significantly higher activity of alanine-aminotransferase (30.14 IU/L) and the concentrations of urea (44.25 mg/dL), creatinine (0.94 mg/dL) and albumin (4.48 g/dL) in serum. Diets containing gliricidia silage resulted in significantly higher gamma-glutamyl transferase activity (92.0 IU/L), while the diets with pornunça silage resulted in higher serum levels of triglycerides (37.85 mg/dL). The diets had no effect on aspartate-aminotransferase enzyme activity and total protein, cholesterol and globulin concentrations, or the albumin : globulin ratio in serum. Mild congestion, necrosis and foci of mineralisation were observed in the kidneys of animals fed diets containing old man saltbush (50%) and pornunça (25%) silages, and mild fatty degeneration and mild mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate in their livers. In conclusion, diets containing silages of forages that are adapted to semi-arid environments may be used for feeding lambs, given the absence of dysfunctioning plasmatic levels of liver enzymes and energy and protein profiles. Additionally, kidney failure was not observed in lambs fed these diets during the feedlot period.

Keywords : blood parameters; buffelgrass; gliricidia; old man saltbush; pornunça.

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