Dog dies and two others seriously ill after walking in Sandringham woods
- Credit: Archant
A dog has died and two others remain seriously ill after contracting a rare but lethal canine disease after a visit to the Sandringham Estate.
Holidaymaker Maggie Hands has spoken of her devastation after six-year-old Shih Tzu, Kiki, had to be put down from the effects of Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI).
The cause of SCI remains unknown, but it is generally picked up in woodland during the autumn and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and tiredness.
Mrs Hands, from Bedford, stayed at Sandringham’s Camping and Caravanning Club with her partner and their three dogs over the weekend, where they walked several times in the adjacent woods.
But having travelled home on Sunday, the couple realised in the early hours of Monday that something was very wrong with Kiki, Jessie, a Yorkshire Terrier, and Minnie, a Bichon Frise.
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A Sandringham Estate spokesman said: “We take care to inform visitors of the signs and symptoms of SCI and recommend caution when walking dogs in dense woodland areas during autumn.”
“They just started vomiting in the night,” said Mrs Hands. “They were clearly in a lot of pain and retching to the point where their bodies were shaking - it was dreadful.
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“At first I thought they had eaten something they shouldn’t have, but then I remembered on the campsite leaflet we were given it mentions some dogs falling ill with SCI.
“They spent three days in the vets on fluids, antibiotics, painkillers. Jessie and Minnie came home on Wednesday night, but there was nothing they could do for Kiki and it was kinder to let her go.”
Despite SCI supposedly being a rare illness, numerous cases have been registered in Sandringham before, as well as at Thetford and Rendlesham forests.
Crushed by the unexpected loss of a beloved companion, Mrs Hands is desperate to ensure other dog walkers are aware of this potentially deadly bug.
The 58-year-old, who is facing vet bills of £2,500, added: “I don’t like blaming anyone, but there needs to be clear signage so this doesn’t happen again.
“There was no clear warning that it can be fatal, so we didn’t think anything of it. I know it is supposedly rare but it has killed one of my dogs and made the others very poorly.”