|dc.description.abstract||Sida cordifolia, family Malvaceae, was suspected to have caused toxicity in small ruminants (sheep and goats) at one of the farms around Lusaka. To verify the suspicion the present study was planned and undertaken. The study included (a) experimental feeding of female goats with Sida cordifolia (b) retrospective study of liver and kidney specimens from the affected farm as well as neighboring farms with suspected plant poisoning and (c) a questionnaire survey on the same farms to gather information on farm management, animal husbandry, vegetation and disease outbreaks in case there were other agents responsible for the out break at the affected farm.
Three toxicity tests were conducted using 14 healthy female goats aged between 8 to 18 month and weighing 12 to 18kg body weight. The goats, all from one herd, were let to
acclimatize for two weeks in a room with a concrete floor. During this period, the animals
were clinically examined and deworrned. The plant used in the toxicity test was picked at
flowering stage; and only tender aerial leaves together with flowers and seeds were dried in
the shade, milled and stored at -10°C. The first experiment involved five goats. Two of the goats were drenched at a dosage of 5g (dry matter; D.M.)/kg body weight and another two received a dosage of lOg (D.M.)/kg body weight. One goat was used control. The goats were dosed for 5 consecutive days and observed for 10 days. The second toxicity test comprised six goats but only two completed the course having been drenched with lOg (D.M.)/kg of the milled plant material for 10 consecutive days and observed for 30 days. The third and final
test involved three goats but only one completed the experiment on a dosage of 5g (D.M.)/kg
for 20 consecutive days and observed for 20 days. Rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, pulse rate, and rumen motility were measured during the experiments. Signs of jaundice and photosensitivity were monitored. Serum metabolite indices known to be sensitive indicators of liver damage, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GOT) and aspartate||en_US