Animal Friends Blog
If you suspect your pet is showing signs of Seasonal Canine Illness please contact your vets immediately to seek medical advice. Information in this article is not designed to replace medical advice from your vet.
What is Seasonal Canine Illness?
Seasonal Canine Illness, also known as SCI or Canine Seasonal Disease, is an illness that affects dogs during the autumn. Little is known about this illness, and the cause remains unknown at this time. Causes that have been considered so far range from algae to Harvest mites.
SCI was first identified in 2009 on dogs that had been walked on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, since then it has been identified in other dogs walked in several different wooded areas.
Cases of SCI are usually reported between August and November with that highest average number of cases being reported in September leading to the ‘Seasonal’ name. Clinical signs will often be seen within 3 days of walking in a wooded area.
How do I know if my dog has Seasonal Canine Illness?
Symptoms of SCI are generalised and very similar to other illnesses your pet may have. The more common signs seen are:
- Abdominal Pain
SCI can be fatal if it is not treated early so if your pet shows any of the above symptoms the best advice is always to speak to your local vet who can help guide you with the best action to take.
Can I prevent Seasonal Canine Illness?
As the cause is unknown it is not possible to specifically prevent SCI, however, be vigilant following any walks in a wooded area for any of the symptoms. Should your pet show any of the symptoms contact your vet immediately. Keeping your pet on a lead when walking in a wooded area means you can keep an eye on them at all times and ensure they are not eating anything they shouldn’t be.
Harvest mites have been commonly noted on dogs that have been diagnosed with SCI, therefore treatment and prevention of these mites may help. Please seek advice from your vet before treating your pet for Harvest mites so they can advise of the most efficient methods.
How is Seasonal Canine Illness treated?
As the cause of SCI is not known the treatment is aimed at the symptoms that your pet will be showing. This may include a hospital stay with your vets where your pet can receive intravenous fluids to keep them hydrated along with medications to help ease the vomiting and diarrhoea.
What is being done to learn more about this condition?
There are a number of people conducting research into SCI, this includes research into dog walkers that are walked in certain wooded areas, whether they show symptoms of SCI or not. Universities are carrying out research to try to develop a test to assist in the diagnosis of SCI. The Veterinary Poisons Information Service are also monitoring SCI enquires for further developments.
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