Five-year-old flat-coated retriever Erin has become the 14th victim of a mysterious toxin that’s claiming the lives of dogs in the New Forest and elsewhere in the south of the country.
The first sign of the disease, which so far has no name, includes lesions on the lower legs and feet, followed by kidney failure, which sets in two to seven days later.
Erin contracted the illness at St Catherine’s near Christchurch, Dorset, after which a blood test found a high level of toxicity and sent her to a specialist in Winchester.
Erin was put not a drip but as her condition worsened her owner, Tracy Graham, made the decision to put her down.
She said: “Her sore became really nasty but I couldn’t find a thorn or anything anywhere as I thought she had become infected. Unfortunately nobody told me to get her blood tested every day after she became ill. It may have picked up the toxin earlier and who knows – she could have been saved”
“When she began vomiting I just said ‘Please, put her down now’. It wasn’t fair on poor Erin.”
Since December 2013, 14 dogs have been killed by the disease, with five confirmed and seven unconfirmed cases in the New Forest.