Dog owners who visit the Queen’s Sandringham estate are being warned of the potential threat posed to their pets’ health by walking there.
Signs are being put up around the site urging visitors to be vigilant against symptoms of seasonal canine illness (SCI), which has affected the area in recent years.
Seasonal Canine Illness is a mystery illness affecting dogs during the autumn, which can prove to be fatal.
Cases are generally seen between August and November. SCI can affect dogs of any size, shape or sex and it causes dogs to become very ill, very quickly after being walked in woodland.
The most common clinical signs are sickness, diarrhea and lethargy typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland. If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI then please contact your vet immediately.
We are unable to advise on specific cases, or offer specific or individual advice on where you should or shouldn’t walk your dog during SCI season.
The cause of SCI is unknown and there are no known preventive measures. You may wish to ask your vet about topical spray treatments for mites to apply to your dog immediately before a walk.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal cases. We hope this is due to increased awareness of the condition and that dog owners now know to contact a vet for advice if they spot any of the clinical signs.
Information provided to us certainly shows that if dogs get veterinary treatment quickly for SCI signs, they tend to recover within seven-10 days. In 2010, 20% of cases reported to the AHT resulted in death. In 2012, less than two per cent of cases reported to us resulted in death.
The estate said: “Whilst we have not yet had any reports of dogs walked at Sandringham showing symptoms of SCI, we are, of course, anxious to prevent any further cases if at all possible.
“In order to help visitors and local residents enjoy their day at Sandringham, the Estate have put up posters alerting them to the disease and its symptoms and giving advice on what to do when visiting woodland with dogs.
“Sandringham Estate advises any dog owner who is at all worried about their pet to visit a veterinary surgeon immediately.”