Seasonal Canine Illness

2016-10-20 09:10:00


The Royal Family’s love of animals is well-known throughout the world, in particular their fondness for corgis. In a photo taken to mark her 90th birthday, Queen Elizabeth II is seen walking the steps of Windsor Castle, accompanied by corgis Willow and Holly, and dorgis Vulcan and Candy. Therefore, it must have been especially hard when the Queen’s estate at Sandringham first identified a potentially life-threatening syndrome seen in dogs. In August 2016, the estate was forced to release a statement warning about the dangers of Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) after 15 dogs are thought to have developed the illness in one month after visiting Sandringham last year.

What is SCI?

First seen in 2009 at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, the syndrome was soon reported at other areas across the United Kingdom, such as Nottinghamshire and Suffolk. The mystery illness affects dogs between the months of August and November and can often prove to be fatal.

What is the Cause?

The cause of SCI is still unknown, even to this day. Many of dogs diagnosed with the illness were discovered to have harvest mites. Even though these mites haven’t been known to transmit disease in the UK, similar species in other countries have been found to do so. This might be the potential cause but, as yet, there is no scientific evidence to back this up.

Symptoms of SCI

The signs of SCI usually develop between 24 and 72 hours after being walked in woodland and can include the following;

–  Sickness

–  Diarrhoea

–  Lethargy

–  Abdominal Pain

–  Loss of appetite

–  High temperature

–  Shivering or shaking

How Can it be Prevented?

Because the cause is unknown, there are no real true preventative measures. All dog owners can do is be sensible about where they walk their dogs. The particular areas in which SCI has been reported are Sherwood Forest, Clumber Park, Thetford Forest, Rendlesham Forest and Sandringham estate, but you should be aware when walking your dog in any patch of woodland. If at all possible, ensure that they are never out of your sight, running through undergrowth as this is where the cause of the syndrome might lie. If your dog does display some of symptoms above and you suspect it may be suffering from SCI, then contact your vet immediately.

If your dog does contract SCI or a similar illness then you may want to look at having protection in place beforehand that could cover the costs of care. offer a Vet’s Fees benefit up to £4,000 as well as a range of other helpful benefits.

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