Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is associated with dogs that have been walked in wooded areas or parkland during the autumn months.
SCI was first reported in 2010 and is thought to be caused by harvest mites. Cases are characterised by lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, pain and rapid unconsciousness.
More than 300 cases have been reported to the Animal Health Trust (AHT) study with 16 deaths, but many more cases are likely to have gone unrecorded.
The AHT recommend owners should spray the underside of the dog with fipronil before walks. However, treatment with fipronil pipettes, applying drops to the back of the neck, are NOT thought to be effective.