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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Dubois, Idaho » Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #158658


item Whittet, Kim
item Encinias, Hayley
item Strickland, James
item Taylor, Joshua - Bret
item Graham, Jim
item Encinias, Adam

Submitted to: Veterinary and Human Toxicology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2002
Publication Date: 12/10/2002
Citation: Whittet, K.M., Encinias, H.B., Strickland, J.R., Taylor, J.B., Graham, J.D., Encinias, A.M. Veterinary and Human Toxicology. 2002. v. 44 p. 136-140.

Interpretive Summary: Many producers supplement growing ruminants with ionophores to enhance growth. However, it has been speculated that ionophores could increase the severity of locoweed intoxication in grazing ruminants. Using sheep as a model, the objectives of this trial were to determine the effects of the ionophore, lasalocid, on sheep susceptibility to locoweed toxicity. Following 35 days of locoweed treatment, locoweed toxicity was observed in the sheep; however, lasalocid treatment did not influence the onset or severity of the toxicity. Therefore, producers should be able to continue use of lasalocid in locoweed infested pastures.

Technical Abstract: The effects of ionophore supplementation on selected serum constituents of sheep consuming locoweed were investigated. Sixteen sheep were allotted by weight to a 2x2 factorial arrangement of treatments: 1) no locoweed, no lasalocid, 2) no locoweed, 0.75 mg lasalocid/kg BW, 3) 0.5 mg swainsonine/kg BW, no lasalocid, 4) 0.5 mg swainsonine/kg BW, 0.75 mg lasalocid/kg BW. Swainsonine was provided by locoweed (Oxytropis sericea), and sheep were fed a blue grama based diet at 2.5% BW for a 35 d treatment period. Diets were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Blood samples were collected on d 1, 7,14, 21, 31 and 35 to determine serum swainsonine concentration, alkaline phosphatase, total iron, aspartate aminotransferase, g-glutamyltransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase activity and total cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations. No lasalocid by locoweed interaction (P > 0.4) was noted for any response variable measured. Average daily gains (P = 0.4) and orts (P = 0.7) were not affected by the treatments. No lasalocid treatment (P = 0.7) or day (P = 0.1) effect of serum swainsonine was observed. A locoweed by day interaction (P < 0.0001) of serum alkaline phosphatase was detected. Alkaline phosphatase levels were elevated (P < 0.01) for locoweed treated sheep at 24 h following initial exposure and remained elevated throughout the trail. Total iron was suppressed (P < 0.08) in locoweed fed sheep. A day effect (P < 0.02) was observed for serum iron. However, no linear, quadratic, or cubic effects of day were noted (P >0.2). A locoweed by day interaction (P < 0.0001) of serum aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyltransferase was detected. Aspartate aminotransferase levels were elevated (P < 0.0001) by d 7 for locoweed treated animals and remained elevated throughout the trial. Gamma-Glutamyltransferase levels were suppressed (P < 0.0001) by day 7 for locoweed treated animals and remained suppressed throughout the trial. A locoweed by day interaction (P = 0.06) of serum cholesterol was detected. However, no linear, quadratic, or cubic effects of day were detected (P = 0.2). Lasalocid treatment had no effect on any serum constituent measured. Use of lasalocid in grazing animals should not increase the likelihood of locoweed intoxication.