SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online


CERQUEIRA, Valíria Duarte et al. Bloat and colic in horses experimentally induced by the ingestion of Panicum maximum cv. ‘Mombaça’. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.11, pp.2033-2033. ISSN 0103-8478.


Panicum maximum desiccation does not diminish the toxicity of grass



Researchers from Universidade Federal do Pará, Castanhal, PA, Brazil  demonstrated that Panicum maximum causes colic in cattle that ingest it and does not lose its toxicity 24 hours after its collection. The study was published in Ciência Rural , v.42, n.11,  November 2012.

The study experimentally reproduced the disease through two experiments with growing Panicum maximum cv. "Mombasa". Experiment 1 contained 10 horses that received the growing grass. Two animals in this group had colic. In experiment 2, the researchers separated the 10 animals in two groups of 5. While the first group received P. maximum freshly cut, the other received the grass cut and dried in the shade for 24 hours. In the group that received the grasses collected 24 hours in advance, one animal had colic on day 13 of the experiment. The other horses from both groups showed signs of intestinal fermentation followed by bloat.

The results show that the P.maximum even when desiccated for 24 hours, produced colic in horses, maintaining its toxicity. According to the researcher Gabriela Riet-Correa, the study shows that the grass should be used with caution in stabled animals even after desiccation.

The study breaks new ground by being the first to perform experiments on stabled animals, this is, using the grass freshly cut and dried. It provides subsidies to the study of other alternatives to equine nutrition.



Gabriela Riet-Correa