Dog Owners Warned To Keep Pets Away From Mud As Deadly Alabama Rot Flesh-Eating Disease Sweeps UK

  • 28/03/2018
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Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from mud as deadly Alabama Rot sweeps the UK.

There are fears dogs could contract the devastating flesh-eating disease from mud picked up on their paws and legs during walks.

Owners should wash any mud off their dogs when they return home and watch out for signs of the illness known as CRGV.

The cause of Alabama Rot, or 'dog's black death', is unknown and it affects all breeds.

If it's not spotted early enough it could lead to potentially fatal kidney failure, with most cases leading to death within a week as the diagnosis often comes too late.

A number of deaths have been reported in the UK and dog owners have been urged to keep a close watch over their pets.

More than 135 cases have been reported since 2012, but there are fears that 2018 could see a record number of cases due to recent bad weather.

There have been at least 29 deaths this year after a record 37 were reported in 2017.

The disease first appeared in the UK six years ago and can affect dogs of any age, sex or breed.

Alamaba Rot is believed to thrive in cold, wet soil.

It can be fatal for nine out of 10 dogs who catch it.

The sudden spike in cases has led to warnings to keep pets away from muddy or wet areas and go to a vet immediately if any symptoms, including lesions, develop.

The Dogs Trust said: "Where possible, stick to dry paths and keep dogs out of muddy or wet areas."

It added: "Wash off any mud after your walk so you can check for any lesions or wounds and if you spot any, go to your vet."

The first sign of Alabama Rot is usually a skin sore or lesion not caused by any known injury, said Vets4Pets.

It said: "Most commonly, these sores are found below the elbow or knee and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin, or are open and ulcer-like.

"Within approximately two to seven days, the affected dogs develop outward signs of sudden kidney failure which can include vomiting, reduced hunger, and an unusual tiredness.

"Skin sores and sudden kidney failure are not unique to this disease alone and are actually more likely to be caused by some other disease. Your vet will run a number of tests to determine the underlying cause."

Dog owners can check the Vets4Pets website to see a map showing where confirmed cases have been reported.

Cases have been reported across the UK, including County Durham, where Jonathon Lamb's dog Bracken battled the disease.

Jonathon was left fearing the worst as Bracken - a cross between a greyhound, bearded collie and border collie - spent around a week receiving round-the-clock care.

The odds of survival were slim, but Bracken pulled through and returned to his owner's Spennymoor home.

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