Vets across the UK have issued a new warning to dog owners after it was revealed that Alabama Rot has affected 14 dogs in the first four months of 2016.
A deadly fungal infection, the disease was first discovered in greyhounds in the US during the 1980s. However, since 2012 it has made a resurgence in the UK, affecting 78 dogs across 16 counties in the last four years.
Vets have suggested that dog owners should look out for the initial signs of the disease, most notably skin sores around the elbow or knee that appear as a swelling, patch of red skin or an ulcer.
Any owners who spot these signs have been advised to consult their vet, who can conduct kidney tests to confirm if the disease is present.
According to Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, treatment for Alabama Rot is only successful in 20-30% of cases, but spotting early signs can increase survival chances.
“If a dog becomes affected the best outcome will probably come from early and intensive veterinary care, which has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering,” he said.
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.”
Although the cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown, the high number of cases that have originated in woodland have prompted Vets4Pets to advise owners to wash of all woodland mud after each walk.
Vets4Pets have also launched a map of confirmed cases, which will reveal if there have been any confirmed cases near you.
Visit the Vets4Pets website to find out more.