The Animal Health Trust(AHT) has warned that dog owners should be vigilant for signs of seasonal canine illness (SCI), and that their animals should be up-to-date with preventative treatments for external parasites.

In recent years, many dogs have suffered from SCI after being walked in woodland. Cases usually occur between August and November, and the symptoms, which include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy, often appear 24 to 72 hours after the dog is walked in a wooded area. Owners are advised to seek immediate veterinary advice if signs of the illness appear in their dogs.

The AHT has found that there are a number of common themes that could increase a dog’s susceptibility. Charlotte Robin, the Trust’s SCI research co-ordinator, said: “A number of cases reported to us have had an infestation of harvest mites. Similarly, our evidence shows that dogs that have travelled further to one of the study sites have more chance of developing SCI. At the moment, we do not know if this is an effect of potential immunity in local dogs, or another factor due to the dogs’ travelling long distances.”

The rest of this article appears in the 21st August issue of Shooting Times.

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