The Clinical Presentation of Grass Sickness

Dr. Scott Pirie – Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh

Summary of the clinical signs of grass sickness, associated with the three forms of the disease

ACUTE SUBACUTE CHRONIC
  • Depression/somnolence
  • Distended abdomen
  • Ileus (absence of gut sounds)
  • Tachycardia (high heart rate)
  • Salivation
  • Gastric reflux
  • Muscle tremors
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Patchy/generalised sweating
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Small intestinal distension
  • Colic (occasionally)
  • Colon impactions (occasionally)
  • “Tucked up” abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Tachycardia
  • Colic (as disease progresses)
  • Gastric reflux (as disease progresses)
  • Patchy sweating
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Colon impaction
  • Reduced gut motility
  • Rhinitis sicca (dried and inflamed nasal passages)
  • Severe weight loss
  • Markedly “tucked up” abdomen
  • Base narrow stance
  • Rhinitis sicca (inflamed nasal passages)
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
  • Slightly elevated heart rate (< 60 bpm usually)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Patchy sweating
  • Mild colic
  • Reduced gut motility