Alabama rot is spreading. Dog walkers have been warned to look for signs of the often deadly dog disease, after fresh cases close to Nunney.
Alamba rot was first diagnosed in the UK in 2015. It has rapidly spread across the West Country in recent weeks.
In the past week, dogs have been diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease after walks on the Longleat estate, Alfred’s Tower and Gare Hill.
There are currently seven confirmed cases within a 20 mile radius of Nunney.
Bellevue Veterinary Clinic and other vets around Nunney have urged dog owners to be on high alert for any signs of the disease.
Bellevue, based in Trudoxhill, recently treated two dogs for the disease. If diagnosed early, treatment for Alabama rot is usually still only effective in less than 30% of cases.
Alabama rot can strike any dog, regardless of size or breed. It occurs more commonly in the winter and spring, but can happen at any time.
The cause of the disease is unknown, but it is believed to be picked up in muddy fields and wooded areas. The disease causes skin lesions and kidney failure.
Dog owners are advised to wash and dry their dogs’ legs and feet after a muddy walk. Check for skin lesions on a regular basis, as they are commonly the first sign.
Unexplained redness, sores or swelling can be found on legs and paws, although other areas can also be affected – for example body, face, tongue and mouth. This can quickly develop into kidney failure.
Other signs include unexplained loss of appetite, lack of energy, vomiting, changes in amount of produced urine.
If you find any lesions and suspect other signs of Alabama rot, don’t hesitate to contact your vet immediately.
In many cases it probably isn’t Alabama rot, but better safe than sorry. If in doubt, call your vet.
Further information on Alabama rot and signs to look out for can be found in the video below and at www.alabamarot.co.uk.