The health and wellbeing of our pets is of utmost importance. We all want them to lead happy, healthy lives. This week we thought we'd chat little about Seasonal Canine Illness. A rare condition that can strike dogs at this time of year. Seasonal Canine Illness, or SCI, is a somewhat mysterious illness that affects dogs of all shapes, sizes, age and breed. It’s a rare illness that mainly seems to occur in Autumn, hence the name 'Seasonal'. Here we take a look at what the illness is, how to spot signs of the illness in your dog and what to do if you suspect your dog has it.
What is Seasonal Canine Illness and what are the symptoms?
Seasonal Canine Illness tends to occur in dogs who have been walked in woodland areas. It mainly occurs between the months of September and November, hence its name. Symptoms can include vomiting, tiredness, lack of appetite, muscle tremors and diarrhoea. No one knows exactly what causes the illness, so prevention can be difficult, but there are some things we can do to monitor and help suspected SCI cases.
What should I do if I suspect my dog has Seasonal Canine Illness?
Catching the illness early can really help with the treatment of the individual symptoms. If your dog displays any of the symptoms mentioned above, especially within 72 hours of visiting a woodland area, you should seek veterinary advice immediately. Whilst there is no cure for the disease, vets can treat the individual symptoms, helping your dog on their way to recovery. The vast majority of dogs make a full recovery with veterinary treatment. In fact the percentage of dogs making a full recovery is increasing year on year, as Vets are becoming more and more aware of certain factors relating to the illness.
How serious is Seasonal Canine Illness?
SCI can be incredibly serious, even causing death in very rare instances. One of the main problems is that researchers still don’t know the root cause of the disease, making treatment or prevention very difficult. If you can catch the symptoms early, within the first three days, the chances are that your vet will be able to alleviate certain symptoms and help your dog on their way to recovery.
Can I reduce the risk of Seasonal Canine Illness?
First of all we’d like to highlight that there has been a steady decrease in SCI cases in recent years, but it’s still important to be aware of the condition and to take precautions where possible. Things to consider are:
- Using preventative sprays for mites before you walk your dog. Some research has suggested that harvest mites are commonly found on dogs who show signs of SCI. You may wish to discuss suitable sprays with your vet before you administer them.
- Keep your dog hydrated.
- Keep your dog on a lead when walking in woodland.
- Monitor your dog closely after woodland walks - symptoms tend to begin to occur between 24 and 72 hours after walking in woodland.