Effects of ethanol on brain and pancreas weights, serum sodium and potassium, and haematological parameters in quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).Avian Pathol. 2005 Apr; 34(2):96-100.AP
Poultry farmers in Pakistan use ethanol for treatment of respiratory diseases and as a growth promotant, but the effects on health and production of broilers are unknown. The effects of ethanol were investigated in quail at different doses through drinking water. One hundred and twenty Japanese quail of 39 days of age were purchased from a local market. They were divided randomly into five groups of 24 (groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and offered ethanol at dose rates 2%, 4%, 8% and 16%, respectively, while group 5 served as control. Quail offered 8% and 16% ethanol showed dullness, depression and staggering gait, while those given 2% and 4% ethanol showed decreased responsiveness for 2 to 3 h. The live weight, brain volume along with serum sodium and potassium decreased significantly (P<0.05) in all treated groups, while there was significant (P<0.05) increase in relative weight of the pancreas. The decrease in live weight varied from 3% to 35% in a dose-related manner. The brain weight decreased by 4% to 10% and the decrease was dose dependent. Brain volume showed a 25% to 51% decrease. The haematological parameters erythrocyte count, packed cell volume and haemoglobin concentration increased significantly (P<0.05), while the leukocyte count increases were not significant. Both serum sodium and potassium decreased in ethanol-treated groups (36% to 44% and 44% to 49%, respectively), almost in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that ethanol at these dose levels has significant deleterious effects on haematology, brain volume and serum electrolytes.