Autumn Dog Dangers | Advice for your pet's welfare from Wagging Tails

Autumn Dog Dangers!

Lisa Suswain, Wagging Tails
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

With the Autumn Equinox not far away and the squirrels currently busy burying nuts under my lawn I wanted to draw your attention to the many dangers this time of year can pose to our dogs. Personally Autumn is a season I love; long walks kicking the leaves, cool enough for man and dog yet not too muddy for those mud magnets of ours! However this change of season can pose the following hazards:

1. Acorns 

There is the obvious danger of acorns causing an internal blockage if swallowed but did you know that they contain a toxic ingredient which can cause damage to liver and kidneys? Thankfully here in the New Forest we have something called ‘pannage’, which is where pigs are released on to the forest to eat the acorns, chestnuts and other nuts to avoid the New Forest ponies and cattle consuming them. Every Autumn around 600 pigs and piglets are let out to feed on the nuts. So if you are down in the New Forest don’t just keep an eye out for your dog eating the nuts, watch out for the pigs too! 

2. Conkers

Ingestion can cause gastro-internal signs such as drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. The case and conkers can also cause intestinal blockages if swallowed and whilst dogs usually vomit any ingested conkers quickly this could lead to treatment needed to control vomiting.

Lisa and Jim from Wagging Tails walking their dogs in the woods

3. Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI)

SCI was first identified in 2010 initially in areas of East Anglia, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. Dogs can become very unwell very quickly and sometimes up to three days after being walked in a wooded area. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy, muscle tremors, not eating and fever. There is no known reason, currently, why this disease has come about but most affected dogs do make a full recovery.

4. Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) / Alabama Rot

We have written many times about CRGV since the first case here in the New Forest back in 2012. Sometimes referred to as Alabama Rot (which was identified in the USA in the 1980’s and only appeared to effect Greyhounds) this disease causes damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. Clots form in the blood vessels causing blockages which can lead to damage of the affected tissue. In the skin this shows up as an ulceration however in the kidney this can lead to kidney failure.

Currently the cause remains unknown so therefore it is difficult to be able to prevent it. It is suggested that bathing areas of your dog which become wet and muddy on walks, however there is no confirmation if this is definitely a benefit. What we do know is most cases of CRGV have been seen between November and May so as we approach this time of year please read our initial article with images of the lesions and ulcerations you should be looking out for. Any unexplained lesions should be reported to your Vet so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Sadly CRGV can be fatal.

Read our previous article on Alabama Rot / CRGV.

Owner of beloved Golden Retrievers, Lottie and Clara, Lisa Suswain is the Founding Director of home dog boarding franchise Wagging Tails and a Kennel Club Assured Breeder.