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Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations

1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of Research Problem
1.3       Justification of the Study
1.4       Aim of the Study
1.5       Objectives of the Study
1.6       Statement of Research Hypotheses

2.1       Stress in Livestock
2.1.1    Stress response in animals
2.1.2    Thermal stress
2.1.3    Reactive oxygen species and cellular redox system
2.1.4    Reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress
2.1.5    Antioxidants and their roles in amelioration of heat stress
2.1.6    Biomarkers of stress
2.2       L-glutamine
2.2.1    Physiological functions of L-glutamine
2.2.2    Glutamine and glutathione
2.3       Goats
2.3.1    Domestication of goats
2.3.2    Breeds of goats in Nigeria
2.3.3    Thermoneutral zone in goats
2.3.4    Effect of heat stress on goats
2.3.5    Effect of heat stress on haematological parameters of goats

3.1       Experimental Site
3.2       Animals and Management
3.3       Experimental Measurements
3.3.1    Thermal environmental parameters
3.3.2    Determination of liveweight of goats
3.3.3    Measurement of rectal temperature
3.3.4    Collection of blood samples
3.3.5    Evaluation of haematologic parameters
3.3.6    Determination of serum total protein and albumin
3.3.7    Determination of erythrocyte osmotic fragility
3.3.8    Determination of malondialdehyde concentration
3.3.9    Determination of serum antioxidant enzyme activities
3.4       Data Analyses

4.1       Thermal Environmental Parameters
4.2       Effect of Treatment on Liveweight of the Goats during the Study Period
4.3       Fluctuations in Rectal Temperature of Red Sokoto Goats administered with L-glutamine during the Hot-dry Season
4.4       Effect of L-glutamine Administration on HaematologicalParameters
4.4.1    Effect of L-glutamine administration on packed cell volume
4.4.2    Effect of L-glutamine administration on haemoglobin concentration
4.4.3    Effect of L-glutamine administration on red blood cell count
4.4.4    Effect of L-glutamine administration on mean corpuscular volume
4.4.5    Effect of L-glutamine administration on mean corpuscular haemoglobin
4.4.6    Effect of L-glutamine administration on mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration
4.4.7    Effect of L-glutamine administration on total white blood cell count
4.4.8    Effect of L-glutamine administration on neutrophil count
4.4.9    Effect of L-glutamine administration on lymphocyte count
4.4.10 Effect of L-glutamine administration on neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio
4.5       Effect of L-glutamine on Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Red Sokoto Goats during the Hot-dry Season
4.5.1    Erythrocyte  osmotic  fragility  in  Red  Sokoto  goats  during  the  study period
4.5.2    Variation in malondialdehyde concentration
4.5.3    Variation in activities of antioxidant enzymes
4.6       Sexual variation

5.1       Thermal Environmental Parameters
5.2       Fluctuations in Rectal Temperature of Red Sokoto Goats administered with L-glutamine during the Hot-dry Season
5.3       Effect of L-glutamine Administration on Haematological Parameters
5.4       Erythrocyte Osmotic Fragility in Red Sokoto Goats during  the Study Period
5.5       Variation in Malondialdehyde Concentration
5.6       Variation in Antioxidant Enzyme Activities

6.1       Conclusions
6.2       Recommendations


The experiment was conducted with the aim of determining the ameliorative effects of L-glutamine administration on rectal temperature, haematological and oxidative stress changes in Red Sokoto goats during the hot-dry season. Twenty eight apparently healthy adult Red Sokoto goats of about 1-year-old, comprising 14 bucks (7 experimental and 7 control) and 14 non-pregnant does (7 experimental and 7 control) served as subject of the study. Goats in the experimental group were administered L-glutamine at 0.2 g/kg body weight per os once daily, while those in the control group were given distilled water for 21 days. Rectal temperature and, blood samples for haematological and biochemical analyses, were obtained 3 days before, during and on day 7 after L-glutamine administration. The thermal environmental variables of dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity, and temperature-humidity index during the study period had range values of 24.5 - 35.2 °C, 41.7 - 84.0 % and 74.1 - 84.0, respectively. The mean rectal temperature of 38.78 ± 0.06 °C recorded in experimental group was lower than the corresponding value of 38.93 ± 0.06 °C recorded in control group, during the period L-glutamine administration. The packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, erythrocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, and total leucocyte, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio were higher (P < 0.05) in experimental group as compared to the control group. Erythrocyte osmotic fragility in experimental group was lower (P < 0.05) than in the control group only at 0.5 and 0.7 % during the period of L-glutamine administration. The MDA concentration in the experimental group (1.47 ± 0.1 nmol/L) was lower (P < 0.05) than the corresponding value of 1.75 ± 0.1 nmol/L recorded in the control group, during L-glutamine administration. In the experimental group, SOD activity (2.29 ± 0.04 IU/L) was higher (P < 0.05) than that obtained in the control group (2.10 ± 0.04 IU/L) during L-glutamine administration. The glutathione peroxidase activities was higher (P < 0.05) in experimental than the control goats during L-glutamine administration. Catalase activity recorded in the experimental goats (48.96 ± 0.9 IU/L) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that obtained in control goats (44.04 ± 0.9 IU/L) during the period of L-glutamine administration. In conclusion, L-glutamine ameliorated the heat stress-induced changes in rectal temperature, haematological and oxidative stress parameters of Red Sokoto goats during the hot-dry season.



1.1              Background of the Study

Increasing world population and demand for animal protein have led to an increase in livestock production (Koknaroglu and Akunal, 2013). Small ruminants, including goats, occupy an important economic and ecological niche in agricultural systems throughout the developing countries (Devendra, 2001). In Nigeria and many other developing countries, goats are kept primarily for meat. They also represent a veritable resource for economic development, livelihood security and are of major cultural importance (Taneja, 1982; Terill, 1986). Livestock performance in developing countries is far behind that recorded in the developed world, although it has been predicted that the performance in developing countries (including Nigeria) would sustain the future growth of the world‟s meat production (Rendaudeau et al., 2012). The Red Sokoto goat is the predominant and the most widely distributed breed in the Northern Savannah zone of Nigeria. It is recognized for its high-quality skin, which is used in leather industry, locally and internationally (Akpa et al., 1998).

Goats are considered to be adapted to harsh environmental conditions better than other domestic species (Silanikove, 2000a), although their productivity is affected by extreme climatic conditions (Lu, 1989; Minka and Ayo, 2012). Goats are subjected to heat stress, when there is an imbalance between heat production within the body and heat loss. Under heat stress conditions, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in excess of what the body can cope with. The increased ROS induce the lipoperoxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and, consequently, leading to the destruction of cell....

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