The Animal Health Trust is warning dog owners to remain alert this autumn, as a mystery dog illness is expected to reoccur in the upcoming months.
Whilst we at Castle Vets in Reading have not seen any cases of this illness in the Reading area, we would like to warn dog owners of the potential risk and symptoms to look out for.
Seasonal Canine Illness has been seen in recent years in the late Summer and Autumn months from August to November and dogs that have been walked in woodland areas suddenly fall ill. The illness seems to effect all dogs regardless of breed, age and sex and unfortunately we still do not know what causes the disease.
Symptoms of Seasonal Canine Illness
- Lack Of Appetite
- High Temperature
The three most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea and/or lethargy and the symptoms generally appear within 24-72 hours of walking in woodland areas. Research has shown that if dogs showing signs of Seasonal Canine Illness receive prompt veterinary treatment they tend to recover within 7-10 days. The Animal Health Trust have asked that dog owners be vigilant for the signs and seek immediate veterinary advice should their dog fall ill following a woodland walk.
Because the cause of Seasonal Canine Illness is still unknown, the trust also 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.
Research into the illness
Research is being carried out at the University of Nottingham into the cause of the illness. It is believed that a naturally occurring toxin, released from a plant, fungi or algal bloom is a likely candidate for causing the disease. Since the Animal Health Trust has been investigating the illness, fewer dogs have been dying from Seasonal Canine Illness. In 2010, one in five cases reported to the trust resulted in death, compared with less than two per cent in 2012.
Any owners of dogs that have suffered with Seasonal Canine Illness or have walked their dog in any of the following Animal Health Trust study sites (with or without any subsequent symptoms) are encouraged to complete an online questionnaire.
- Sandringham Estate or Thetford Forest in Norfolk
- Clumber Park or Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire
- Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk
How you can help
- Tell your friends and family about Seasonal Canine Illness and what to look out for so that prompt treatment can be given if their dog should fall ill.
- Complete the online questionnaire if you have walked your dog in one of the five study sites or if your dog is thought to have had Seasonal Canine Illness
- Register for email updates on the Animal Health Trust website so that you can keep up to date with any information they have.
- If you can spare it, make a donation on the Animal Health Trust website to help them continue with their valuable research.
If you think your dog is showing signs of Seasonal Canine Illness please contact your veterinary surgery as soon as possible.