A mystery illness that has claimed the lives of several dogs in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire is being investigated by the Animal Health Trust. Dogs walked in Sherwood Forest, Thetford Forest, Clumber Park, and at Sandringham Estate could be at risk of infection.
A mystery illness that has claimed the lives of several dogs in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire is being investigated by the Animal Health Trust (AHT).
According to the veterinary charity, this mystery illness has become evident for the second year running. Cases of the condition were reported at around the same time of year in 2009, but ceased when the weather turned colder.
To help with the investigation, the AHT is appealing to dog owners who have walked their dogs in the following areas since the beginning of August 2010:
AHT chief executive Peter Webbon said: “We need the help of dog owners to gather information about this mysterious seasonal illness, which is causing a number of dogs to become seriously ill […] We need to get information from people now so we can try to be better prepared next year.”
Describing the symptoms, he said: “The illness comes on very quickly, usually within 24 hours, and causes vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy. We are asking dog owners who have walked their dogs in any of the four sites to fill in a questionnaire – regardless of whether your dog was taken ill or not.”
The charity claims it is also very important to hear from owners whose dogs didn’t get ill following walks at the sites, which could enable the AHT to discount various factors and, hopefully, lead to the identity of the mysterious dog killer.
Mr Webbon added: “Without the help of dog owners we won’t get to the bottom of this. We really need people to fill in these questionnaires as soon as possible.”
If you have walked your dogs at any of the four sites since the beginning of August 2010, please download, and return, the relevant questionnaire and map from the AHT website. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
To report an incidence of the illness in another area, email details to email@example.com
The AHT has established a Seasonal Canine Illness fund and is asking for donations towards the cost of its investigation. To contribute, visit www.aht.org.uk.