A leading Staffordshire vet is warning dog owners to be vigilant after at least one case of the deadly Alabama Rot disease was confirmed in the county last week.
Shires Vets, which has surgeries in Stone & Eccleshall, has issued the warning after Staffordshire became the latest area in the country to be affected by the crippling disease, with one dog dying and others thought to be undergoing treatment.
The fatal case reported in Cannock Chase means a total of 109 dogs across 30 counties have died from Alabama Rot since it was first detected in the UK in 2012.
Jess Hulme, clinical director at Shires Vets, is urging dog owners to be aware of symptoms, which can include sudden swelling or soreness on the skin.
“The cases of Alabama Rot reported in Staffordshire this week are concerning and I would advise owners to be on their guard. Early symptoms include sores and skin lesions, typically below the knee or elbow, which are not wounds from an injury.
“The sores show as a swelling, a patch of red skin or a defect such as an ulcer. From then, affected dogs can develop signs of kidney failure which can include vomiting, reduced appetite and tiredness.
“Early recognition of the disease is key. Without knowing the trigger for the disease it’s impossible to give specific advice but I would urge dog owners to bring take their pets to be checked after any sudden onset of skin lesions, especially if the dog is also unwell.”
Alabama Rot first appeared in the late 1980s affecting greyhounds in America. The cause of the disease, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is still unknown.
The first Alabama Rot conference was held in the UK in May, with scientists from human medicine, alongside vets from academia and private practice, teaming up to discuss ways to learn more about the disease.
Anyone with concerns about Alabama Rot can visit www.shiresvets.co.uk to find their nearest practice or search for ‘Shires Vets’ on Facebook to read more advice.