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Canine seasonal illness




It’s nearly that time of year again when the first cases of seasonal canine illness (SCI) are reported. As you know how serious SCI can be, please help us alert as many dog owners as possible to the risk and the clinical signs to be vigilant for.

The key clinical signs of SCI are vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy, typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland.  Owners noticing signs should speak with a vet straight away.

Dogs could be at risk of SCI walking in any woodland area during autumn, so please stay vigilant. Cases are usually seen from August to November.

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is 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. In all cases, if you suspect SCI or require further advice, please speak to either your vet or a local vet if you are away from home.

The cause of SCI is still unknown and there are no known preventive measures. You may wish to ask your vet about topical spray treatments containing the active ingredient fipronil for external parasites to apply to your dog immediately before a walk.

The first phase of the AHT’s research into SCI has come to an end and has identified useful data. In July 2014, we hosted a workshop that included leading vets, forestry owners and the Kennel Club.  We hope the workshop will lead to a further phase of research with the aim of pinpointing the causes and identifying possible prevention methods and treatments.

We are unlikely to issue any further e-alerts with regards to SCI during 2014. Please help us spread the word about this mystery illness through your social media pages. 


Inform PACT of any known cases and we will pass on your information to the relevant organisations. Tel 01362 820775 or email us