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New warning over deadly dog disease at Sandringham royal estate

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Dog walkers are being warned after reports of a killer canine disease on the Sandringham estate.

A statement on the Sandringham website informs people that August and September are the months where in the past cases of Seasonal Canine Illness [SCI] have been seen at Sandringham.

SCI is a rare illness which has declined in numbers since 2010 with key symptoms being vomiting, diarrhoea and tiredness.

The Sandringham estate visitor centre. Picture: Adam Fairbrother
The Sandringham estate visitor centre. Picture: Adam Fairbrother

The Lynn News has previously reported cases of the illness on the estate in 2015, while six dogs were reported as being victims of the disease in January 2011.

A national newspaper has this week reported on a Bedford woman’s three dogs being left seriously ill after staying at the campsite on the estate. They all have suspected SCI.

It is believed that this is the first case of seasonal canine illness on the estate since autumn 2018.

A spokeswoman for the estate said: “Sandringham Estate takes care to inform visitors of the signs and symptoms of seasonal canine illness and recommends caution when walking dogs in dense woodland areas during autumn.”

The statement on the Sandringham estate website adds: “No-one understands the cause of SCI and there is no cure.

“The key symptoms of SCI are vomiting, diarrhoea and tiredness within 72 hours of being in a woodland area.

“This rare condition is not the only reason why these symptoms may be seen; there are lots of other common causes for these symptoms. If you suspect your dog has SCI, please contact your vet as soon as possible.”

Although the cause of the disease is unknown, it has been linked to allergic reactions caused by mushrooms, algae or agricultural chemicals to infections from harvest mites.

Many dogs will pick up harvest mites and never become unwell but mites can be treated with fipronil spray.

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