Seasonal Canine Illness.

If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI, contact your vet immediately. The most important thing is to take seriously the signs of sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy in your dog, especially if they start within 72 hours of a walk in a woodland area.

There is no new information on SCI but the advice to dog owners provided on this page remains vitally important and we wish to continue to raise awareness of SCI amongst dog owners to help save dog’s lives. The below FAQs aim to cover any questions you may have about the disease and the AHT’s involvement.

To see our information for vets, click here.

What is SCI?

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is a mystery illness affecting dogs during the autumn; no one knows what causes it. It is normally characterised by vomiting, which may be accompanied by diarrhoea and lethargy and these clinical signs are usually witnessed within three days of having roamed in a woodland area.

Unfortunately, in some cases, SCI becomes severe very quickly and, sadly, some dogs do not survive. Cases have been reported all over the UK, are generally seen from August onwards, peak in September and may be seen in to November.

What advice is there for dog owners?

  • Be vigilant
    Closely monitor your dog’s health in the hours and days after a woodland walk, especially if you normally do not walk your dog(s) in the area
  • Use a lead
    Keep your dog on a lead during a woodland walk so that you can keep an eye on them at all times
  • Don’t hesitate
    Go to your vet immediately if you think your dog could have SCI – prompt veterinary attention could make the difference between life and death. If dogs get veterinary treatment quickly, they tend to recover well after a week or so.
  • Keep hydrated
    Make sure your dog is offered water before you set off on foot, especially if you have travelled a long way in the car for your walk. Keeping hydrated may help if your dog is affected by SCI.
  • Think about mites
    Harvest mites have been commonly noted on dogs suffering from SCI, so it may help to preventatively spray dogs against mites before a walk. It is important to use a spray rather than a ‘spot-on’ product as the chemical barrier of a spray may be more effective at preventing a mite infestation and can be applied directly to the more exposed areas of the feet, legs, chest and belly. Your vet will be able to advise on the correct products.
  • Tell others

Read more here…

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