Video: Suspected cases of deadly dog illness reported in Suffolk
SUSPECTED cases of a potentially fatal dog illness have been confirmed at three sites in East Anglia.
Scientists from the Newmarket-based Animal Health Trust (AHT) has said that investigations at Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, Thetford Forest and the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk have resulted in cases that fit the definition of the mysterious Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI).
Experts from the veterinary charity, who have been working at five sites across the UK since the end of August, are now warning dog owners to watch out for symptoms of the condition.
Dogs usually become ill within 24 to 72 hours of being walked in wooded areas and suffer vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.
SCI claimed the lives of several dogs during autumn 2009, 2010 and 2011, however it is not known if there have been any fatal cases this year.
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Charlotte Robin, SCI Research Co-ordinator at the AHT, said: “We have had a great response to our online SCI questionnaire from dog owners with more than 200 questionnaires completed to date. Of these, there have been 14 suspected cases of SCI reported to us.
“These 14 cases are those which fit our case definition. There could, of course, be more cases that are occurring but have not been reported to us.”
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The AHT is continuing to investigate at Rendlesham, Thetford and Sandringham as well as Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.
Ms Robin, asked owners to spread the word about SCI to other dog owners, either through conversation, online forums or social media.
Any dog owner whose pet displays symptoms of SCI should seek veterinary advice immediately.
To complete a questionnaire on SCI visit www.aht.org.uk