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First Known Outbreak of Alabama Rot Hits UK's Pets

24 March 2015

UK - Questions are being asked over a potential outbreak of Alabama Rot in the UK, as vets say more research is needed to determine the dangers to our pets, writes Gemma Hyland.

The disease, which hadn't been seen in the UK until 2012, is thought to be responsible for the deaths of 52 dogs.

The initial cases were reported in Hampshire, incidents have since been confirmed across England and Wales, from Somerset in the South West to County Durham in the North East.

The disease causes skin lesions and while the exact cause of the disease is not yet known, there appears to be a link between forest walks and the onset of the disease.

Signs to look for following a woodland walk:

  • Appearance of skin lesions, usually on the legs
  • Small skin wounds

Although these would usually be considered minor issues, veterinary specialists are recommending that owners of dogs with these symptoms see their vets straight away especially if they have recently visited a forest.

These seemingly minor symptoms can then develop into more generalised clinical signs such as lethargy, vomiting, reduced appetite and then kidney failure which usually proves fatal unless diagnosed and treated early.

The disease has been likened to ‘Alabama Rot’ which was first seen in the US in the 1980’s. However, this disease only affected greyhounds whereas the more recent cases in England have affected a variety of breeds.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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