A dog charity based in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire is warning dog owners to take care when walking their pets in woodland due to seasonal canine illness (SCI).
SCI, a mystery illness which can cause dogs in severe pain and even death, has been found in people’s pets in the Lincolnshire area.
In Lincoln this year, two residents have said their dogs became ill and unfortunately passed away after being walked in a wooded area around the region.
There have been some anecdotal reports on woodland just outside of Lincoln also causing illness in dogs.
As previously reported, owners have taken their dogs on walks to forest areas like Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park, but within 48 hours of the walk dogs have fallen ill.
Symptoms come on quickly, and include vomiting, lethargy and a loss of appetite.
Jerry Green Dog Rescue, based in Broughton and Boston, asks dog owners to take extra care now over 50 cases of SCI have been reported in the UK.
The charity also urges dog owners to be on the lookout for symptoms, and to try and avoid walking their dog in woodland for the time being.
Jerry Green Dog Rescue said they’ve received a large number of reports of SCI to their centre in Nottinghamshire.
The Animal Health Trust is working closely with vets and the Forestry Commission to research into the strange illness, which could be linked to Harvest Mites.
Since August this year, in a study site around Nottinghamshire, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) had 24 cases of SCI, with some coming from the Lincolnshire area.
AHT research indicates that the illness could be linked to a form of mite infestation, as a number of national cases reported have shown evidence of Harvest mites.
The health trust would like owners who walk their dogs in affected areas to fill out a short questionnaire to help with research.
Angela Salisbury, Head of Operations at Jerry Green Dog Rescue, said: “At the moment it is unclear what exactly is causing the illness, so it is very important that you keep an eye on your pet in the hours following a walk and make immediate contact with your vet if you have any concerns.
“There are no preventative measures but all the evidence shows that if dogs get veterinary treatment quickly then they tend to recover within seven to 10 days.”