Dog owners in Dorset and Staffordshire are being warned to keep an eye out for skin lesions on their dogs' paws after Maggie, a Cocker Spaniel, died in a confirmed case of Alabama Rot in Bearwood, Dorset. Another dog was killed by the disease at Stoke-on-Trent, according to a statement by Hampshire vets Anderson Moores.
"In total the UK has seen 86 confirmed cases since 2012, with nine cases in Dorset and two in Staffordshire," the statement reads. "We would advise owners to be vigilant and to seek advice from their local vet, if a dog develops unexplained skin lesions."
Cathy Moss, Maggie's owner, said she and her family are "utterly heartbroken" and urges owners to be aware of the signs.
Sadly, we have to announce that two more cases of Alabama Rot have been confirmed. The new cases are in Bearwood, Dorset...
Anne Elizabeth, owner of the dog who sadly died at Stoke-on-Trent, said, "The first lesions happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, but she had allergies and they were mistaken as a flare-up. She was put to sleep the following Monday due to kidney failure.
"Lesions start on their feet - just keep an eye out for them, and wash your dog's feet."
Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), or Alabama Rot, is a disease whose causes remain unknown although it is usually associated with walks on wet, muddy terrains. It can lead to fatal kidney failure within ten days from the first symptoms, which is why it’s vital to recognise them as soon as possible: it is relatively easy to treat at the beginning stages, while most dogs who suffer from kidney failure succumb despite treatment.
“The initial lesions include inflammation, reddening, sores, swelling, bruising and ulcers,” The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies said in a statement when cases were reported in Scotland last year. “These usually affect the feet and lower limbs, but can be seen around the face, in the mouth and elsewhere on the body. The lesions can be painful, and lameness or licking at the affected area may be the first sign.
“Cuts, wounds, stings or bites are much more common than CGRV but can look very similar. Owners should take their dogs to their vet if they are concerned, particularly if the skin lesions are unexplained.”
Further information on the disease and the signs you should look out for can be found in the video below.