Warning to dog owners over potentially fatal disease caught by pets on Royal Estate at Sandringham

Signs warning dog owners have gone up in the woods at Sandringham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Signs warning dog owners have gone up in the woods at Sandringham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Seasonal canine illness (SCI) was first reported in the autumn of 2009, when dogs walked in woodland at the Royal Estate at Sandringham and Thetford Forest began showing symptoms.

Affected animals suffer sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy within 72 hours of walking in woodland, with some dying from the condition.

While the cause is not known for certain, it is believed harvest mites may carry the infection, which occurs between August and November.

Posters have now been put up at Sandringham, where there were more than 15 cases last year. They alert visitors to the disease and its symptoms and giving advice on what to do when visiting woodland with dogs.

So far, there have been Helen Walch, the estate's public access manager, said: 'We are anxious to do what we can to help prevent further cases this year, whether here or anywhere else.'

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) says dogs should be walked on leads in woodland at this time of year so that owners can keep a close eye on them, and they also suggest that spray treatments for mites may be helpful.

Spokesman Farrah Owens said: 'There were harvest mites found on a number of cases, that's why we advise dog owners to make sure their topical flea and mite protection is up to date.

Most Read

'The best thing dog owners can do is be aware of the symptoms and access their vets as soon as they see signs of sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy. Dogs that visit their vet quickly tend to recover.'

Further information can be found here.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter