MAY 2013 – Equine Grass Sickness Awareness Month

As some of you know my business www.cometscorners.co.uk is named after Comet my gorgeous boy that died in June 2006 from a nasty disease called Equine Grass Sickness (EGS). This regular post will be dedicated to explaining what EGS is, how to help prevent it and the fundraising efforts that are going on around the country for the Equine Grass Sickness Fund www.grasssickness.org.uk who are desperately working towards creating a vaccine.

Equine Grass Sickness is a highly fatal disease that causes partial or complete paralysis of the horses digestive system. There is no one known cause and as of yet no vaccination and no treatment. In the 21st Century it is astounding that so little can be done for a disease that kills so many horses. Grass Sickness is responsible for the deaths of as many as 1 in every 200 horses! Once diagnosed prognosis is poor and only those with the chronic form have a slim chance of survival with 24 hour care. 

This is why a group of us who have all lost horses to this devastating disease have launched EGS May 2013 -  a full month of dedicated fundraising for the Equine Grass Sickness Fund.  We are asking for volunteers to step forward with fundrasing ideas for your local area – such as sponsored rides, shows, a cake sale, sponsored leg wax – anything that can help to raise money and help to protect the horses we still have and love.

There are many areas of support for those that are nursing a horse through EGS or have suffered the same tragic loss as us – a dedicated facebook group has been set up by Ulla Balletta to create awareness of this disease and to provide much needed information and advice.  http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/219636401382141/ Ulla is the spearhead of this campaign and I found her through this page and was so moved by all the work she has done so far… Here is Ulla’s story of the day she lost her beloved William….

“William was put to sleep on 30/4/11 after confirmation he had acute grass sickness. I’ll never forget that day it was heartbreaking.  It happened so quickly, 1 minute I had a happy healthy horse & 24 hrs later he was gone. His symptoms started on the 29/4/11, it was Prince Williams wedding day. When I got to the yard & brought him in I realised he wasn’t himself, he seemed depressed & wasn’t eating or drinking which wasn’t like him. When the vet arrived he diagnosed colic & said his only chance was surgery, I remember him saying what a tough horse William was as you couldn’t tell by looking at him how ill he was, his heart rate had gone up to 80 (when we reached hospital his heart rate was 100).  We were on our way thinking he was going to have an operation for colic which was bad enough, when we arrived he was checked over which was when grass sickness was first mentioned, I was warned that William was very ill & the vet was very worried. I’d never heard of GS so when I got home that night I was on the internet trying to find answers, the more I read the more scared I was,  didn’t look good. The next AM the vet phoned me at 9.30 to let me know they were going to operate but if it was GS William would need to be put to sleep. I’ve never forgotten that morning waiting for the phone to ring but dreading what I’d hear.  I kept telling myself the longer I waited the better it looked, hoping & praying that I’d get a phone call telling me it was all ok & he was coming home. It wasn’t meant to be, GS was confirmed & he was put to sleep. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt, everything was taken out of my control, I’d known nothing about GS. I didn’t  know there were 3 forms of it or that horses could survive the chronic form. For weeks it haunted me. What if he’d had chronic GS & I wasn’t even given the choice to try & nurse him through it? He was taken from me so quickly without any warning. All I could think the next day was why did I not stay with him, did I give him a big enough hug & I hoped he knew how much I loved him. I felt for a long time & sometimes even now a year & a half on that I let him down. I still picture his head over the stable door looking so sad & every time I was out of sight he’d neigh as if to say where are you, please stay with me. I miss him terribly & the memories of that day are still very fresh in my mind, it was the shock of how quickly it happened. This was a devastating experience made worse by not knowing the facts about GS & this is what drove me to start fundraising & to raise as much awareness as possible. William was a great character & I still miss him terribly.”

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing more stories like Ulla’s and would welcome anyone to send in any of your own thoughts, stories and pictures to grasssicknessmay2013@yahoo.co.uk.  EGS MAY 2013 now has its own dedicated website http://equinegrasssicknessmonth.moonfruit.com/# which includes a link to our justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/Grass-Sickness-Month-May-2013 and also you can follow us on twitter to keep up to date with the all goings on! https://twitter.com/EGSMay2013

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, please share and spread the word far and wide….

Emma Samm xx

 

 

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New Charity of the Month for November 2012 – S.H.A.R.E. (Husky Rescue)

Our new Charity of the Month is S.H.A.R.E. – Siberian Husky Aid Rescue and Education.

SHARE logo

Started in 2011 S.H.A.R.E was set up by four Siberian Husky owners – Tania, Louise, Diane & Claire – who wanted to make a difference in the large number of Huskies that are given up to kennels, abandoned or put up for re-homing on a daily basis: Together they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the rescue.. SHARE is a U.K wide rescue, specialising in re-homing Siberian Huskies and Siberian Husky Cross Breeds. All dogs that come into our rescue are placed into the most suitable of home-checked foster homes. By doing this we provide a safe, loving environment for the dogs to stay, whilst carrying out thorough assessments on their behaviour and help rehabilitate and train them where needed, to make them ready for re-homing. They rely on the support of volunteers to help with transporting, fostering, fundraising and home-checking throughout the U.K. 

For more information and details of how you can help visit the SHARE website here, or their Facebook Profile here.

**Remember that 10% of the proceeds of every purchase YOU make through our online pet store Comets Corners will be going directly to S.H.A.R.E. this month!

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You Wouldn’t Feed Your Kids Junk Food Everyday – So Why Do It To Your Pets???

Most people know that feeding high amounts of processed/junk food to your children or yourself is unhealthy and can lead to a variety of problems, from constipation to skin conditions, limp hair and weak nails to kidney infections and even bowel cancer… But not so many of us know that this is exactly what we are subjecting our pets to with the food we give them day in day out. 

expensive-or-cheap

Scan the pet food aisle at your local supermarket and you are likely to find food bulked out with cheap cereals, and meat ‘derivatives’, even E numbers.  Did you know that a food only has to contain a minimum of 4% Chicken to be able to call itself Chicken Flavour, or Lamb or Beef ? This means that it can contain 96% of whatever else it likes and as long as it has a minimum of 4% of the said flavour it can be classed as that flavour!
This amongst other things will lead to huge changes in the proportion of ‘everything else’ per batch made up – thus one day your pet may be constipated, another he may be loose, another he may not even want to eat his food – although your brand of pet food has not changed, the constitution of it has changed hugely. 

Even if you go to the large pet stores and scour their aisles you will still find it difficult, even in the ‘healthy section’, to find something that is truly good for your pet – many top brand ‘healthy’ pet foods still only contain less than 30% meat!

Dogs and cats are natural carnivores, left wild they will hunt for meat to survive, not head to the nearest corn field…

Feeding the wrong type of diet for your pet can lead to dental, bladder, joint and skin problems and can drastically shorten their life – leading to increased trips to the vets with all associated costs,  not to mention the inevitable heartache for the family.  

Holistic vet Chris Day MRCVS advises on his information-only site www.naturalfeeding.co.uk that ‘although dogs can eat bread, they would not normally encounter grain starch in the wild… similarly potatoes, rice, porridge and wheat can be fed in MODERATION to a VERY ACTIVE dog, unless the dog has a weight problem. 

NB – removing grain starch entirely from a dogs diet WILL NOT bring a nutritional penalty and may be to your dogs advantage!’ So why are the majority of main stream brands listing cereals as their largest ingredient? Well according to Chris Day – ‘such foods do not serve health and well being so much as commercial interest and profit.’

Choosing to feed your pet a true high quality food consisting of mainly meat, then filled out with fruits, vegetables and oils can initially seem expensive, however it must be remembered that given the quality of these foods much less can be fed to maintain a healthy weight, plus these high quality foods naturally keep teeth clean and strong, digestion in top working order, and skin and coats healthy and glowing.  Expensive vet trips will be fewer and further between and your family and pets will thank you for it!

*Here is another great article ‘Should We Feed Our Dogs Cheap Dog Food?’ which you may be interested to read..

Visit Comets Corners online pet accessories store for everything you need for your precious pets.. A minimum of 10% of every purchase is donated to our publicly-nominated animal welfare ‘Charity of the Month’ – for more details see the ‘Charity Watch’ page on our website.

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Product of the Day – Jolly Moggy Bamboo Cat Pod

Jolly Moggy Bamboo Cat Pod

Natural comforts for cats from jolly moggy..

bamboo cat pod

The Bamboo cat Pod is the ideal product for your cat to sleep, louge and play.

Features:

- Comfortable fur cushion.

- Scratching pad.

- Feather dangler toy.

- Made from Bamboo slats and Eco Fibre.

- Easy to assemble.

- Dimensions: 515 x 390 x 330mm.

- The bamboo finish may vary due to the use of natural materials.

For more details view the Bamboo Cat Pod on our website.

Please visit our online pet accessories store Comets Corners for more details on how we – and you – can help! For every sale we make, at least 10% of our proceeds goes to our chosen animal welfare charity or organisation of the month!

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Product of the Day – HALTI Head Collar For Dogs Size 2 (Black)

HALTI Head Collar For Dogs Size 2 (Black)

halti headcollar

HALTI – The headcollar for kind control.
Designed by Dr Roger Mugford

Leads the way to better behaved pets:

Features:
- Stops pulling.
- Simplifies training.
- Corrects misbehaviours.
- Guides the head so the body will follow.
- Calms and allows freedom to pant.
- Unique on-off action can close biters’ jaws.

Design:
- Quick release buckle on adjustable collar
- Noseband positioned clear of the eyes
- Lead ring
- Fixed angle for a secure and comfortable fitting.

For more details and size guides (other sizes available) view the Halti Headcollar on our website.

Please visit our online pet accessories store Comets Corners for more details on how we – and you – can help! For every sale we make, at least 10% of our proceeds goes to our chosen animal welfare charity or organisation of the month!
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Product of the Day – ROTASTAK SPORTS Starter Home

Still buzzing for the Olympics? – ROTASTAK SPORTS Starter Home!

rotastak sports starter home

Features:
- The complete living environment for hamsters, gerbils or mice..
- With Sports Stickers to personalise your pets home.
- Rotastak main housing unit.
- Fully compatible with the rest of the Rotastak range.
- Instruction guide.

For more information view this product on our website..

Please visit our online pet accessories store Comets Corners for more details on how we – and you – can help! For every sale we make, at least 10% of our proceeds goes to our chosen animal welfare charity or organisation of the month!

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Product of the Day – 40 Winks Luxury Pyramid Cat Sleeper Animal Print 16inch

              40 Winks Luxury Pyramid Cat Sleeper Animal Print 16inch

animal print cat pyramid

The Comfort Range of Premium Cat Bedding..

It’s a pet thing!

An exclusive premium range of contemporary and comfy designs. Designed to complement modern and natural styles around the home.

Features:

- Exclusive design.

- Stylish and modern for today’s home.

- Washable materials 40ºc.

- Approximate Size: 16″ (40cm)

For more details please view this item on our website.

Please visit our online pet accessories store Comets Corners for more details on how we – and you – can help! For every sale we make, at least 10% of our proceeds goes to our chosen animal welfare charity or organisation of the month!
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