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DURING each of the autumns of 2009, 2010 and 2011, there have reports of dogs becoming seriously ill, sometimes fatally, after walking in woodland, particularly in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire (www.aht.org.uk/sci). Symptoms are rapid in onset – often within 24 hours of walking the dog – and cases have mainly occurred in the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September. Symptoms are: severe vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking, trembling and, in some cases, pyrexia. The condition has been termed seasonal canine illness (SCI) and the causative agent is currently unknown. Putative aetiological disease agents have included woodland exotic plants, fungi, poisons, plant toxins, bracken spores and blue-green algae, the protozoan Tritrichomonas and the harvest mite Neotrombicula autumnalis, the larvae of which are …
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