Wakefield vet issues warning to dog owners over potentially fatal condition after woodland walks

Dog owners are being warned of a potentially fatal condition caused by dogs being walked in woodland.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:48 am

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is a relatively rare condition that typically affects dogs between August and November.

It has a rapid onset and is potentially fatal.

Sophie Adamantos, clinical director at Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield, said: “Seasonal canine illness (SCI) is a potentially-fatal condition and its exact cause is still unknown.

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Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is a relatively rare condition that typically affects dogs between August and November.

"However, dogs usually become ill with vomiting, diarrhoea and general lethargy within three days of being walked in woodland.

“The condition can be particularly prevalent when the weather is very dry, which means the woodland floor is also very dry. This can lead to more harvest mites, which are commonly seen on dogs with SCI.

“It is normally treated with a mixture of drugs and intravenous fluids and the majority of cases will recover in around a week.

“If you’re worried your dog is showing symptoms please contact a vet immediately for advice and prompt treatment because SCI can become severe very quickly and, sadly, some dogs do not survive.”

Signs of Seasonal Canine Illness

Signs usually appear in dogs following a walk in a wooded area. The signs are non-specific so it be missed.

But if your dog is vomiting or lethargic after recently being exercised in woodland then contact your vet immediately.

Symptoms to look out for include:

Vomiting

Diarrhoea

Lethargy

Abdominal pain

Fever

Muscular tremors

What to do while out on a walk with your dog

Use a lead during woodland walks

Keep your dog well hydrated after a walk

Check your dog regularly for harvest mites

Be vigilant for symptoms of SCI in the days following woodland walks

If your dog is vomiting contact your vet immediately.