DEADLY dog disease Alabama Rot has spread to Warwickshire.
The case reported in Claverdon is one of 11 confirmed outbreaks of the crippling disease across the UK this year.
Mark Taylor, clinical director at Avonvale Veterinary Centres, is urging dog owners to be aware of symptoms, which can include sudden swelling or soreness on the skin.
He said: “The case of Alabama Rot reported in Warwickshire is 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 focal 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, which first appeared in the late 1980s affecting greyhounds in America, has now been found in 29 counties across the UK since 2012, with confirmed cases standing at 94.
The cause of the disease, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is still unknown.
However, it is believed that washing dogs down thoroughly after they have been in wet/muddy areas – particularly woodlands and boggy areas – can help prevent infection.
The first Alabama Rot conference will be held 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 should take their dog to the vet immediately.