Seasonal Canine Illness or SCI, is a serious illness which seems to affect dogs that have been walked in woodland areas a few days before becoming unwell.
Cases are usually seen between August and November, with most reported in September. Unfortunately we do not yet know the cause of SCI. Toxins that occur naturally in plants, fungi and algae blooms were initially thought possible causes although, through research and testing, a lot of these have now been excluded.
With dogs that have become ill, owners report a sudden gut upset, vomiting and diarrhoea within 72 hours of walking in wooded areas. Other signs include lethargy, abdominal pain and a loss of appetite.
Dogs may also have very high temperatures and suffer from shaking or trembling. If you think your dog has any signs consistent with SCI, particularly vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy then contact your vet immediately for an emergency appointment.
SCI can be hard to diagnose as there is no test, as yet, that can confirm the diagnosis. The dog’s diet does not seem to be a factor in the cause or incidence of the condition and therefore there is no need to change the dog’s diet, food or feeding routine. As with all unwell dogs prompt veterinarian action is important.
The signs of SCI are not specific and other potential causes may need urgent medical treatment. It is important to remember this is an uncommon disease and with the correct and prompt veterinary care most dogs make a complete recovery over 7-10 days.