Dog owners across Notts are being urged to take extra precautions when out walking their pets this spring and summer to help prevent the spread of the deadly disease Alabama Rot after a case was recorded in the Midlands.
The mysterious illness, which first appeared in the late 1980s affecting greyhounds in America, has spread to at least 18 counties in England including Notts.
No cases have been reported in the county so far this year, but it has been reported near Manchester and last month appeared for the first time in 2017 in the Midlands, when a case was recorded in Warwickshire.
Vets4Pets has launched an interactive guide to provide dog owners with information on the disease, including confirmed locations and tips on how to reduce the risk of dogs becoming infected.
“The cause of Alabama Rot, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), is still unknown and there is no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease,” said Huw Stacey, head of clinical services at Vets4Pets.
“This is why we have produced an interactive guide, that helps dog owners understand where in the UK confirmed cases have occurred, how to spot symptoms and tips on reducing the risk of infection.”
“The concern among vets in the UK is that unlike the Alabama Rot that affected greyhounds in America, the disease in the UK does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog.”
“Of course cases are currently extremely rare and this information is aimed at preventing a large scale outbreak by stopping the disease spread and ensuring dogs are kept safe while enjoying the great UK outdoors.”
Vets4Pets, which has practices in Notts, is currently supporting the research work carried out by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists and the Animal Health Trust to help understand the disease, how it can be treated and prevented. Huw added:
“The first sign that is normally seen is a skin sore that isn’t caused by a known injury. Most commonly these sores are found below the elbow or knee and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or are open and ulcer-like.” “If a dog becomes infected the best outcome will come from early and intensive veterinary care, which has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering.” “Any dog owners who think their pet has Alabama Rot symptoms should contact their nearest vet immediately.