Seasonal canine illness expected to reoccur
The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is warning dog owners to remain alert this autumn, as a mystery dog illness is expected to reoccur in the upcoming months.
Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) has been seen in recent years from August to November, with dogs that have been walked in woodland areas suddenly falling ill.
While its cause is still unknown, symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea and/or lethargy, and these appear within 72 hours of walking in such areas.
The trust has asked that dog owners be vigilant for the signs and seek immediate veterinary advice should their dog fall ill following a woodland walk.
Since the AHT has been investigating the illness, fewer dogs have been dying from SCI. In 2010, one in five cases reported to the trust resulted in death, compared with less than two per cent in 2012.
Charlotte Robin, SCI research coordinator at the AHT, said: "We hope this [change] is due to increased awareness of the condition and that dog owners now know to contact a vet for advice if they spot any of the clinical signs.
"Information provided to us certainly shows that if dogs get veterinary treatment quickly for SCI signs, they tend to recover within seven to 10 days."
The AHT recommends that dog owners ensure their pets are up to date with preventative treatments for external parasites, and always keep a supply of fresh water available to them.
Owners who have walked their dog at any of AHT's five study sites – Sandringham Estate or Thetford Forest, Norfolk, Clumber Park or Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, or Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk – are encouraged to complete an online questionnaire.
"We desperately need information from dogs that have been walked at any of our study sites, even if they did not become ill," added Ms Robin.