Worcestershire dog owners are issued warning on the proper care of their pets to keep it safe from a deadly disease.
At least 30 dogs have died nationwide from Alabama rot in the past 18 months, a new research has confirmed.
The extent of the outbreak was published in a detailed investigation in the Veterinary Record Monday, with symptoms displayed by dogs in Worcestershire.
Worcester News reported in 2012, how Steve Smith, of Wadborough, near Pershore, lost two of his working dogs to what is believed to have been Alabama rot.
Worcester’s dog warden Pip Singleton warned owners to be on their guard, after the report’s release, “It’s really quite serious. That’s why I would recommend walking in areas that you know and where you know there’s no dirty, stagnant water.”
“Some dogs have had red sores, some have been frothing at the mouth, but others have become very ill very quickly, with no signs. “People need to be cautious, not panic and take precautions,” Singleton said.
Alabama rot outbreaks have been affecting dogs in the United States since 1980.
Up until November 2012, the disease was unknown in the UK, when reports started emerging of a mysterious dog illness which had dogs dying in New Forest, Hampshire.
The dogs affected by the disease develop red lesions on the lower legs followed by kidney failure for a period of two and seven days later.
“One of the things I would suggest is that if dogs got into dirty or muddy water then it’s advisable to wash the dog immediately.” Miss Singleton said.
“If owners see anything to do with their dog that is not the norm, then they should contact their local vet straight away. Another thing is it might be worth people taking wet wipes with them so when they bring a dog back from a walk they can be wiped down. At this time of year, you should not allow your dog to go into marshy land or swimming.”
Unlike in the US, which have only affected greyhounds, the cases of Alabama rot in the UK have affected all shapes and sizes of dogs, the investigation revealed.