Horse owners are being asked help out with a study of the often fatal equine grass sickness.

Researchers at the University of London are investigating possible causes of the usually fatal, but non-contagious, disease.

Samples from plants and soils from pastures where there have been recent grass sickness outbreaks are being analysed by the Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy at the School of Pharmacy (University of London).

But researchers would like to hear from owners of pastures where there have not been any known cases of the disease to act as control sites.

Now is currently peak time for this research as most cases of equine grass sickness occur between April and July.

Equine grass sickness is characterised by dysautonomia, or a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which leads to paralysis of the intestinal tract, and is thought to be triggered by the horses’ diet.

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