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Vermeersiekte caused by Geigeria burkei Harv. subsp. burkei var. hirtella Merxm. in the Northern Province of South Africa : research communication

C.J. Botha, T.A. Gous, M-L. Penrith, T.W. Naudé, L. Labuschagne, E. Retief
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 68, No 3 | a884 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v68i3.884 | © 1997 C.J. Botha, T.A. Gous, M-L. Penrith, T.W. Naudé, L. Labuschagne, E. Retief | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 1997 | Published: 13 July 1997

About the author(s)

C.J. Botha,
T.A. Gous,
M-L. Penrith,
T.W. Naudé,
L. Labuschagne,
E. Retief,

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Abstract

The 1st field outbreak of vermeersiekte induced by Geigeria burkei Harv. subsp. burkei var. hirtella Merxm. is reported. It is also the first recorded outbreak of this disease in the arid sweet bushveld of the Northern Province of South Africa. The toxicosis was experimentally reproduced in a sheep following daily intraruminal administration of 2.5-5.0 g/kg dried, milled plant material for 18 consecutive days. Neither the sheep in the field outbreak nor the ewe in the experiment exhibited any signs of regurgitation of rumen contents (vermeersiekte). All developed only the stiff or paretic/paralytic forms of the disease. Serum activities of CK and GGT were slightly raised in clinically affected sheep (n = 11) during the field outbreak, and serum activities of AST, GLDH, GGT, LDH and CK increased in the ewe dosed with the plant material. Analysis of dried, milled Geigeria plant material confirms that this species is moderately nutritious.

Keywords

Geigeria Burkei; Paralysis; Paresis; Sheep; Stiffness; Vermeersiekte

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