High mortality of livestock is caused annually by the plant, Dichapetalum cymosum (gifblaar), in the Northern Transvaal. So far no therapeutic measures have been developed for the prevention or treatment of this poisoning. In this presentation, the efficacy of acetamide as therapy for experimental gifblaar poisoning was tested in 18 sheep. When 2,5-5 g/kg of acetamide was dosed to sheep at various intervals before and sometimes after the administration of 5 g/kg of gifblaar, 1 out of 5 survived, compared with 0 out of 2 controls. Dosing of 2g/kg of acetamide before and/or simultaneously with or after 1 g/kg gifblaar prevented mortality as 5 out of 5 treated sheep survived compared with none of the 5 controls.The experiments indicate that acetamide has demonstrable therapeutic value as an antidote for the prevention of experimental gifblaar poisoning in sheep. Further investigations should determine the feasibility and applicability of these findings under field conditions in sheep and cattle.
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