Article Text

Epidemiology of equine grass sickness: a literature review (1909–1999)
  1. H. E. McCarthy, BSc, MSc1,
  2. C. J. Proudman, MA,VetMB, PhD, FRCVS1 and
  3. N. P. French, BVSc, MSc,DLSTM, PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Epidemiology Group, Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE


The geographical spread of grass sickness between 1909 and 1999, particularly in England and Wales, is described, and the experimental investigations to identify a causal agent are summarised. The epidemiological techniques used to investigate grass sickness vary from clinical observations, to more advanced methods such as case-control studies using logistic regression analyses. Several risk factors for grass sickness have been reported consistently (age, time of year and recent movement to new pasture or premises) and several others have been reported for which the findings remain inconsistent (weather, pasture type, breed, supplementary feeding and use of anthelmintics).

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