The Strathbogie Farmers Horse Show
Committee and cheque for £500 raised for the Scotlands Charity Air Ambulance
Please Report All Cases Of Grass Sickness To The EGSF.
The Moredun Foundation Grass Sickness Fund is the only registered charity in the UK raising funds specifically to research into Grass Sickness. EGSF is dedicated to supporting and advancing research into Grass Sickness and further improving the treatment of chronic cases.
If you would like to know more about supporting Grass Sickness research or make a donation please contact :- The Moredun Foundation Grass Sickness Fund, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Peniculk, EH26 0PZ. or phone 01314456257. or email email@example.com
More about Equine Grass Sickness on Shetland Pony Health page under USEFUL INFO
There was a record 194 entries for this years Red Rose Shetland Pony Show which raised £350 for The Macmillan Cancer Support
The show was well organised and held in a friendly atomosphere at the new venue The Nortcote Stud Equestrian Centre just outside Blackburn. The entries included several ponies from Scotland (see NEWS page) The supreme champion was Kerloch Velvet a 15 year old black standard mare, sire Stow Review, Dam Burnbank Veda, owned and exhibited by Mr P Atkinson from Cumbria.
The Red Rose Shetland Pony Show has a facebook page.
GRASS SICKNESS ( Equine Dysautonomia )
Charities like The Animal Health Trust carry out research into Grass Sickness. The first case of Grass Sickness was recorded in in 1907 in the east of Scotland near Dundee. It affects all types of horse, pony and donkey. It causes paralysis within the digestive tract and nerve damage throughout the body. The overall mortality rate is thought to be over 90%.
Characteristic changes to nerve cells in the intestine of Equine Grass Sickness horses may possibly be used to confirm a diagnosis.
The cause is still unknown. However recent research suggests that toxin produced from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum type C may be involved which is better known for producing clinical signs of botulism. It was first suggested that there may be a connection as far back as 1923, when similarities were observed between botulism in both humans and horses. The UK has the highest incidence of Grass Sickness in the world with eastern counties particularly at risk. A disease almost identical to grass sickness was discovered about twenty years ago in hares. However there is no evidence that hares and horses can pass the disease to each other. Cats and dogs can also develop a similar disease. Grass Sickness is virtually always seen in grazing animals after a spurt of grass growth, and is most frequently seen in animals aged between two and seven, with a peak at three to four years. Lower incidence in older horses may suggest the development of resistance but there are no firm theories as to why foals are rarely affected. Recent research suggests that high nitrogen content of soil and soil disturbance may be risk factors. It had previously been thought that it was more common in pasture with a high clover content, but recent studies indicate that it can also occur on pastures with no clover.
If Clostrdium Botulinum does prove to be to be the culprit a vaccine is theoretically possible. However much more research needs to be carried out.
Current research run by the Animal Health Trust includes the development of a Nationwide surveillance scheme to identify cases of grass sickness which occur from 2000 onwards. They are very keen to hear of any grass sickness cases that you have encountered. All information received remains completely confidential.
An on- line questionnaire is available at www.grasssickness.co.uk
or for a postal form contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01638 555399.
The Animal Health Trust and the Royal School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh are conducing a small pilot trial of a vaccine in Eastern Scotland on a hundred horses and ponies.
This pilot is in preparation for a full UK wide vaccine trial involving at least 1000 horses and ponies, which in collaboration with The School of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool they hope to commence in 2014.
If you would like to support the vaccine trials, please donate at www.aht.org.uk/donate
To make a donation by phone 013314456257