Effect of garlic supplementation on zootechnical performance and hepato-renal functions in nitrate-treated rabbits
The effect of garlic supplementation on zootechnical performance and hepato-renal functions of rabbits exposed to experimental nitrate poisoning was evaluated. Adult male 6-8 week-old albino rabbits (n= 24) were randomly divided into four groups (A - D) and subjected to nitrate intoxication through the oral administration of sodium nitrate solution at 2 ml/kg bodyweight per day for 40 days. Group A was a control that received no treatment except sodium nitrate. Rabbits in groups B and C were treated with 1% methylene blue solution (2 mg/kg bodyweight per day) and aqueous garlic extract (500 mg/kg bodyweight per day) through intraperitoneal and oral routes, respectively. Rabbits in group D were treated with both 1% methylene blue solution (2 mg/kg bodyweight per day, intraperitoneally) and aqueous garlic extract (500 mg/kg bodyweight per day, orally). On completion of the treatment period, the groups were compared in growth performance, biochemical profile and histopathological changes of hepato-renal tissues. Although the total feed consumption of the groups remained comparable, Group C showed relatively better weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR). Likewise, garlic extract significantly increased the serum bilirubin concentration and reduced the level of other biochemical attributes in comparison with control animals. The hepatic and renal tissues of Groups C and D remained normal, whereas those of the control group exhibited distinct histopathological alterations. It was concluded that garlic supplementation ameliorated the deleterious effects of nitrate intoxication on production performance and hepato-renal functions of rabbits.