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GT Yarmouth, uK: SCI (dogs)

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    Posted: September 23 2018 at 12:38am
PROTECT YOUR PETS Dog owners warned over outbreak of killer disease that leaves pets shaking and vomiting

Seasonal canine illness reported near Queen's Sandringham estate, where she walks her beloved corgis
By Tariq Tahir
22nd September 2018, 11:48 am
Updated: 22nd September 2018, 11:57 am

A FRESH outbreak of a killer dog disease has flared a few miles from the corgi-loving Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where several pets have died in recent years.

Cases of Seasonal Canine Illness, SCI, which hits dogs walked in woodland, have been reported to Haven Vets surgery in Great Yarmouth.

The outbreak has raised fears that a new epidemic is breaking out across Britain's woods, parks and even gardens this autumn.

SCI usually strikes from September to November, when owners love to walk their dogs in the carpets of autumn leaves, and without prompt veterinary treatment it can prove fatal.

It was first diagnosed at Sandringham in 2009, the vast Royal estate which allows the public to walk their dogs on well-defined paths through the woods.

Several dogs were reported to have died and after another outbreak in 2016, the Queen's staff posted warning notices at Sandringham.

The Queen is a well known dog lover and at one point had 13 corgis.

Haven Vets in Great Yarmouth say they have already seen two cases so far this autumn, prompting it to post a warning on its Facebook page and circulate posters.

The new alert was raised by Leanne DeJean, of Drifter's Way, Great Yarmouth, who walked her toy poodle Bella in Fritton Woods, also known as Waveney Forest, on Sunday.

By the early hours of Tuesday morning Bella was shaking and suffering with vomiting and diarrhoea, classic signs of SCI.

Leanne rushed her two-year-old pet to the vets where the dog was put on a drip and remains in hospital after being diagnosed with the mystery illness.

"I have been in absolute pieces, she is my little baby" said Leanne, 39.

The surgery confirmed it has also seen another dog and that it was the first time in several years a case had been confirmed.

The cases have been reported to scientists from the Newmarket-based Animal Health Trust.

Symptoms usually appear within 24 to 72 hours of dogs walking in woodland in autumn, and can come on very quickly and include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.

Harvest mites have been linked to the disease but tests have not proved conclusive.

A spokesman for AHT said "We would never want to say to people 'do not go to the woods' because the percentage of dogs that get ill is small.

"Our advice would be to be as vigilant as possible and do not take any chances.

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