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.


Second Dog Dies After Suspected Antifreeze Poisoning

A nine-year-old staffordshire bull terrier is thought to have become the second victim of antifreeze poisoning after dying shortly after a daily dog walk in Ruislip February.

Molly had just completed a regular walk around Ruislip when she became listless, agitated and tired – symptoms also displayed by labrador Ollie when he was killed by antifreeze poisoning in Ruislip on 10 January.

Although Molly’s owner Miss Wilson decided against further tests to determine the toxin, her friend and dog walker Ms Woolf has stated that Molly’s symptoms were similar to those of Ollie the labrador.

She said: “We didn’t know anything about the symptoms at the time, but after I read about Ollie and the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning, they absolutely 100% applied to Molly.”

Miss Wilson has spoken of her devastation following the incident. “We had Molly nearly a decade, she came first before the kids. She wasn’t ready to go, she was fit and healthy,” she said. “This is a horrible tragedy.”

Hillingdon Council has put up notices around the Ruislip area to draw dog walkers’ attention to the suspected poisonings, urging owners to contact them with any information.

Dog reunited with owner after a night on a Lake District mountain


An owner has been reunited with his dog after he survived a 500ft fall on a Lake District mountain.

Bonnie the dog was left to endure a night of severe weather on Caudale Head after a whiteout caused owner to fall, leaving him unable to search for her.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called out to help the walker, who was left with only minor injuries after his 500ft drop, but the team had to wait until the following morning before they could begin searching for Bonnie.

The following day, five members of the team and Bonnie’s owner climbed back up the mountain and used snow shovels, avalanche transceivers and ice-axes to work their way through the snow.

A spokesperson from Patterdale MRT said: “After an hour of searching – and slipping and falling – the team spotted a dog sitting on a small rocky outcrop.

“Amazingly, the dog had survived the night, and with a bacon sandwich inside her and some dog treats she was able to walk down the steep mountainside to be reunited with her master.

“Patterdale mountain rescue team would like to remind those venturing into the fells that full on winter conditions exist on many high fell tops.”