The RSPCA is warning dog owners to be cautious following a number of confirmed cases of Alabama Rot in Cannock Chase.
In 2019 there were 29 reported cases in the region, however the RSPCA is sending out warnings to try and reduce this number.
Cases have already been found in other regions in the UK this year including West Sussex, Nottinghamshire and Wearside.
A vets practice in Burgess Hill has had a confirmed case of Alabama Rot and the dog was walked in the Cowfold / Partridge Green area.
Please remember to wash your dogs paws and legs thouroughly after walks and call your vet straight away if you notice any lesions / ulcers . pic.twitter.com/2ASu0JBT2l
— The Mewes Vets (@MewesVets) March 4, 2020
Alabama Rot is a disease which can cause skin legions and kidney failure in dogs, although the actual cause of it is still unknown.
Although the cause is unknown there are some signs you should look out for.
Veterinary Nurse Elspeth Bovan, 23, said: “There are some very simple things to look out for especially if you walk your dog in the countryside.
“The main one is skin sores, as it is something they will catch while walking, the sores will usually be on the lower half on the dog’s body.
“You can also keep an eye on whether they have a reduced appetite, are drinking more and if they seem more tired than normal.
“These are the normal signs of kidney failure. We would advise to see your vet if you see any of these symptoms.”
So, know you know what to look out for, is there anywhere that the disease can be of a higher risk.
Those with fur babies will understand..my sister has just lost 2 of her dogs within 1 week to the awful Alabama rot disease .RIP Dot and Bea .Be aware if you walk near Newstead /Abbey and the railway lines near there .😢😢 pic.twitter.com/sPjouk0p9X
— Joanne Lewis hodgkin (@JoanneHodgkin) March 2, 2020
Animal Manager at Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre, Staffordshire, Dominic Still, 19, said: “At this current moment there is no stated cause for Alabama Rot, however we do know that most of the cases that are reported are usually with dogs who are walked in the countryside.
“It is not something to worry about as the number of cases that have been reported is really low and it can be very easy to try and avoid.”
The first time Alabama Rot was seen in the UK was around six years ago and it comes in waves of spreading. The reason for this is because it spreads more in the colder months rather than when it is warm.
Here are a few ways you can look after your dog to lower the risk of Alabama Rot:
- Make sure you wash all the mud from your dog after a wet and muddy walk.
- Always focus on the paws as this is where they are most likely to lick clean themselves.
- Do not take them in long grass areas.
- Always check for any red patches after a walk.