Dog owners warned over Alabama Rot risk

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.


Police warns owners after North London dog poisonings

Police in North London are urging dog owners to be vigilant following a spate of dog poisoning in the local area.

Warnings have also been released by RSPCA in Brent after three dogs died and four were taken ill since the beginning of 2014.

One of the incidents, which took place in Kingsbury, saw one dog die after ingesting blue tablets left near a lay-by. A further two incidents involved poisoned meat, which had been left in undergrowth in the area.

Simon Osbourne, chief inspector for the RSPCA, said: “We are very concerned to hear these reports. Poisoning is a cruel and inhumane way for an animal to die and one which would have caused these dogs a great deal of suffering.”

According to the police, dogs affected by the poison will show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, increased urination, excessive salivation and difficulty breathing. Less notable symptoms may also include contraction or dilation of pupils and tearing of the eyes.

If you believe your dog may have been poisoned, contact your local vet immediately.

Volkswagen TV advert cleared of being ‘irresponsible’

The new television ad for car manufacturer Volkswagen has been cleared of being “distressing and irresponsible” after 46 complaints were received by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ad starts and ends with a shot of a terrier chasing a car, and scenes throughout feature images of dogs with their heads out of car windows during a journey.

Although harnesses and restraints were visible on many of the dogs, the ASA received 27 complaints that the scenes would be “harmful if emulated”. A further 27 complaints were received regarding the scenes showing the terrier chasing the car, which were considered distressing as it appeared that the dog had been abandoned.

Responding to the complaints, Volkswagen said that the company did not seek to encourage controversy within their advertising and regret that some viewers were offended. They also said that they appreciated that the British public was sensitive to animal welfare issues and ensured that every dog featured in the advert enjoyed the experience.

Having considered the complaints and subsequently cleared the advert, the ASA said: “We considered that the tone of the ad was light-hearted and that the ad was unlikely to encourage dog owners to allow their dogs to travel in that way.”