Dog owner warns of Seasonal Canine Disease after case in Suffolk woods

Rendlesham forest, with insert of marley the seasonal canine illness suffering dog

A Suffolk dog owner has warned of the dangers of Seasonal Canine Illness - Credit: Iwitness/Tim Denny Johnathan Giles

A warning has been issued over the dangers of Seasonal Canine Illness after a dog came down with the disorder walking in a Suffolk woodland. 

Sandra Sexton, a Halesworth resident, warned that the illness made her daughter's dog "very ill" after he caught the disease in Dunwich woods.

She said: "My daughter came back from Dunwich woods with her dog and within hours he was taken very ill.

"He was violently sick for several hours and his body was shutting down, he spent two nights in the vets and was a very lucky dog to have survived.

"The vet wasn't sure he was going to make it."


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Now Marley is on the mend, Ms Sexton says.

She said: "He's home and looking better but he's still not himself."

Marley and Maria, Sandra's daughter after he spent two nights at the vets

Marley is thankfully recovering at home with his owner, Sandra's Daughter Maria - Credit: Johnathan Giles

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Seasonal Canine Disorder, also known as Seasonal Canine Illness, is a sickness that affects dogs in the autumn month — normally after walking in woodland.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, fever and muscle tremors. In some cases it can be fatal. 

The Blue Cross advises that any owner who suspects Seasonal Canine Illness contacts a vet immediately — "especially if it is within 72 hours of visiting a woodland area".

However, according to research by the Animal Health Trust, "the prognosis is good for dogs treated quickly" with "fewer than 2%" dying.

Treatment, however, can be expensive — Marley's care cost more than £1000, according to Ms Sexton. 

The cause of the disease is unknown, but some experts suspect that it could be caused by agricultural chemicals, algae or harvest mites. 

To lower the risk to their dog, owners are advised to avoid woodland, and, failing that, keep their dog on a short lead in woods. 

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