Dog owners have been warned about deadly Alabama Rot after five dogs contracted the disease in the UK.
Alabama Rot is a disease that thrives in cold, wet wintry weather when the ground is sodden.
The disease damages blood vessels in the skin and kidney.
It causes ulcers to form and the organs to fail.
Dog owners have been urged not to take their dogs into the fields and woods as several dogs lost their lives since the disease have reached Britain in 2012.
David Walker, the UK’s leading expert in the disease, said: “We are now in the time of year when infections are the most common. Further confirmed cases mean it is understandably very worrying for dog owners, however, this disease is still very rare, so we’re advising owners to remain calm but vigilant, and seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.”
“We’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet as normal.
We’ve seen cases of dogs walk with other dogs, in the same place every day, developing the disease, while the other dogs remained completely unaffected.
Any owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.”
Vets are trying to find a cure for Alabama Rot as the disease has already taken the lives of numerous dogs since it arrived in the UK.
Dog owners have been asked to take their dogs to the vets if they notice symptoms of the disease like lethargy or vomiting.
Vet, Dr. Ian Hopkins, said: “The best advice is to continue enjoying exercising your dog but always be mindful of certain symptoms which may indicate a nasty disease such as Alabama Rot.
These can include lethargy, vomiting, or sometimes drinking more than usual.”
“With Alabama Rot, dogs will often have skin lesions or ulcers – in the mouth, on the tongue and lower limbs including feet which are the common place.
However, the lesions are not always present and in that case we just have to deal with it as there would be no sign of lesions at all.”
The disease affects all types of dogs of all ages and dog owners have been urged to take care of their dogs and visit the vets immediately if they notice its symptoms.
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