grass sickness

*MiRi*

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May 20, 2004
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i realised a few days ago that the show i did was supporting grass sickness.....
what happens when a horse/pony has grass sickness?

my friend yvonne said a horse she knew died from grass sickness.

xox
 
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shaka

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Jul 22, 2003
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Not much is known about what causes Grass Sickness and sadly for this reason, as yet there is no known and proven cure.

Grass Sickness is basically damage to the nervous system. It damages the nerves that cause involountary actions. As I said, the cause is unknown but due to the type of damage a sort of toxin is thought to be the cause. The disease occurs almost exclusively in horses with access to grass, hence the name.

I did some research on Grass Sickness a while ago after a horse I knew of came down with it and found some interesting information.

Great Britain has the highest grass sickness occurence in the world but it's also recognised in northern Europe, especially Sweden, Denmark and Germany, with a few cases in France, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Norway and Switzerland. It does not occur in Ireland.

It has been said that mares may be more at risk more then stallions or geldings but it hasn't been proved. It can occur at any age but generally tends to between 2 and 7 years old with a peak at 3 and 4. It can and does occur at any time of the year, but most are seen between April and July with it peaking in May.

There are three forms of grass sickness, subacute, acute and chronic. Although not all horses show all the signs, the major symptom is paralysis from the horses gullet downwards. In the acute strand, symptoms are a lot mroe severe, come up without warning and the horse will often sadly die within 2 days. Muscle tremors and damp sweat patches also come up. Gut paralysis is very serious, it leads to signs of colic, like rolling, looking at flanks, kicking belly, droooling etc. Stomach liquid may start to pour from the nose that smells really rank and they can get constipated.

In subacute, symptoms are similar to acute but are less severe. Horses can have swallowing dificulty, sweating, muscle tremors, quick weight loss and have mild to medium colic. Some die and some may have to be put down within a week, but some move on to chronic.

In chronic grass sickness, the symptoms occur more slowly and only a few cases show mild, intermittent colic. There is some loss of appetite, one major symptom is rapid weight loss which can lead to the horse becoming skin and bone. Horses have been knownto recover from this.
 
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shaka

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The above article that clip-clop posted was taken from the website I got the information for my research paper and the above answer from. The site's index however is here and it gives you a lot more choice and view of article. It's a very good site, I highly recommend it.
 

Chip

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My most wonderful mare died from grass sickness 21st November last year (2003). It was horrible. It was like she had persistent colic, she got that she was hardly able to move, her weight dropped off in hours, she couldn't eat, later just wanting to keep her nose in her water. brown water ran our of her nose, this was what she had drunk, it washed around her stomach then ran back up her nose again. It was truly evil. Please support Grass Sickness Research if you can.
 

clipclop

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it is a terrible thing and unfortunately I am hearing a lot more cases of the past few years too. Whether that is because they are diagnosing it more or not I really don't know.
 

*MiRi*

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May 20, 2004
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thank you

i never ever knew grass sickness was so serious!! i actually had nooo idea!!

shaka and clipclpo thank for the info...sounds horrible but higl detailed :)

and sorry chip and artemis for looing a horse over grass sickenss :(

thank again

xox
 
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