Evaluation of the toxicity of Brachiaria decumbens in rabbits
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Brachiaria spp.
experimental model
poisonous plants

How to Cite

Faccin, T. C., Pupin, R. C., Leal, P. V., dos Santos, A. C., de Lima, S. C., Ferreira, V. B. N., Garcez, W. S., & de Lemos, R. A. A. (2016). Evaluation of the toxicity of Brachiaria decumbens in rabbits. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 38(2), 143–146. Retrieved from https://rbmv.org/BJVM/article/view/212


ABSTRACT. Faccin T.C., Pupin R.C., Leal P.V., Santos A.C., Lima S.C., Ferreira V.B.N, Garcez W.S. & Lemos R.A.A. Evaluation of the toxicity of Brachiaria decumbens in rabbits. [Avaliação do efeito tóxico de Brachiaria decumbens em coelhos.] Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 38(2):143-146, 2016. Laboratório de Anatomia Patológica, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Av. Senador Filinto Müller, 2443, Campo Grande, MS 79074-460, Brasil. E-mail: tatifaccin@hotmail.com The objective of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of rabbits to poisoning by Brachiaria decumbens and the possible use of this animal species as an experimental model for studies on poisoning by this forage in livestock. The experiment was conducted during the dry season with 12 rabbits. The treated group of nine animals was kept in a paddock of B. decumbens, and the control group with three rabbits was kept in cages and received cabbage (Brassica oleracea). Samples of young, mature, and old leaves and seeds of B. decumbens were collected for quantification of the saponin protodioscin. Euthanasia of rabbits from both groups was performed 30, 60 and 90 days after the introduction of the treated group to the pasture. The rabbits showed no clinical signs and no macroscopic or histological findings characteristic of Brachiaria spp. poisoning. Both groups gained weight during the experiment. The concentration of the protodioscin (% dry matter) ranged from 0.87% to 2.72% (mean ± standard deviation: 1.95 ± 0.50%) in young leaves, 0.93% to 2.74% (1.71 ± 0.42%) in mature leaves, 0.59% to 1.66% (1.10 ± 0.25%) in old leaves and 0.11% to 0.28% (0.20 ± 0.05%) in seeds. These results demonstrate that B. decumbens is palatable to rabbits and that rabbits are not susceptible to poisoning by Brachiaria spp. with saponin concentrations that are toxic for sheep.

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