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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versão On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versão impressa ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 no.4 Pretoria  2008




Changes in sheep oesophageal diameter and function during Geigeria ornativa (vermeerbos) poisoning and subsequent recovery



L D SnymanI; A CarstensII; R A SchultzI; J P J JoubertI; L LabuschagneI

IARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X5, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa
IIDepartment of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X4, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




Changes in the oesophageal diameter and function together with changes in body weight, feed intake and the cardiac pulmonary flow index were investigated during experimentally induced poisoning with Geigeria ornativa and subsequent recovery. This was performed under varying conditions for individual sheep. Results showed an increase in the oesophageal diameter index (ODI) during vermeersiekte, accompanied with a decrease in oesophageal function (OF). Cessation of G. ornativa intake resulted in a considerable although incomplete recovery of the ODI. Recovery of the OF for the different sheep, however, varied between 0 and 100 %. Detrimental changes in the oesophageal diameter and function were also measured in sheep receiving only subclinical doses of G. ornativa. Decreases in body weight and feed intake commenced 1 to 3 weeks before the onset of vermeersiekte, while indications of a decline in these 2 parameters were also noticed with ingestion of subclinical amounts of G. ornativa. An increase in the cardiac pulmonary flow index (CPFI) to a value indicating the onset of heart failure was found in 1 of the sheep showing clinical signs of vermeersiekte. The CPFIreturned to normal after termination of G. ornativa intake.

Key words: body weight, cardiac pulmonary flow index, feed intake, Geigeria ornativa poisoning, oesophageal diameter, oesophageal function, vermeersiekte



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Received: June 2008
Accepted: November 2008



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