If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’ve read about SCI in the media, or your dog has suffered from it or you know someone whose dog has suffered from it. SCI, the mystery dog illness, has claimed the lives of several dogs in 2009 and 2010. Since the beginning of September 2011, we have been informed that cases have reoccurred at all of our study sites, along with other sites in Nottinghamshire and Suffolk.
We Need Your Help To Find The Cause Of This Mysterious Killer.
What is Seasonal Canine Illness?
At the moment – we don’t know exactly. We do know that cases of Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) are generally seen between August and November, that it can affect any size, shape or sex of dog and that it causes dogs to become very ill, very quickly.
The most common clinical signs are sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy. If you suspect your dog is showing symptoms of SCI then please contact your vet immediately.
How You Can Help
Here are two ways you can help us track down this mystery killer:
1. Tell your friends, family and other dog owners about our investigation
The more people that know about SCI, its effects and how quickly a dog can be taken ill, the more chance we have of identifying cases and stopping them before it’s too late. This website will contain the latest information.
You can also sign-up to receive email alerts containing important updates on SCI here
2. Make a donation to the SCI fund
As an independent charity, the AHT receives no government funding. We rely on people like you to support our work. At the moment we’re looking for a needle in a haystack. We desperately want to find out everything we can about SCI so we can stop it killing dogs but this work takes funding. Your donation, however big or small, will enable us to get to grips with this mysterious killer and other illnesses like it. Donate now.
What is the AHT doing to find out more about SCI?
We were alerted to SCI in September 2010 and in October 2010 we launched our investigation. Our investigation has focused on four sites – Sandringham Estate and Thetford Forest in Norfolk and Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. However we have been made aware of several other potential affected areas
We created a questionnaire which we asked dog owners who had walked their dogs in any of the four sites to complete. We asked for information from people whose dogs had been taken ill and those whose dogs hadn’t been taken ill. This will enable us to identify patterns and hopefully find out what is causing SCI.
We’ve had a great response to our plea for information – with more than 400 questionnaires returned and 600 people offering useful information. Of the questionnaires returned, 20% were from owners whose dogs had been taken ill with SCI. Of these, nearly one in five sadly died. In 2011, we will be continuing our investigation at these four sites and also at Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk. If you have walked your dog at any of the sites after 1 August 2011, please download the relevant questionnaire and help our investigation.
There have been several suggestions as to the possible causes of SCI but as yet the real cause is still unknown. We are now analysing the data we received to try to identify the cause.
What are the AHT’s next steps?
We’re trying to close in on this mystery illness. We have visited Sandringham Estate with a British field botanist from the Natural History Museum in order to rule out possible causes. Please vies our SCI theories page for full information on the visit.
We want to arm owners with as much information as we can so everyone is better prepared to deal with a case of SCI should their dog become ill.
Our ultimate aim is to identify the killer and eradicate this illness but this will take a little longer.