The post mortem results on Pippa the spaniel that sadly died before Christmas have confirmed that she did have Alabama Rot. Paul Higgs MA VetMB CertSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS, European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine - Eastcott's Head of Internal Medicine has written an information sheet on Alabama Rot that should answer any questions that you may have. Please click on the link to read:
Pippa's owner is fundraising for Alabama Rot reasearch and her gofunding page will be open for the next 47 days. Click here to visit the Go Funding page and make a donation
*24th December 2015*
Purton Vets are treating a patient with suspected Alabama Rot. The dog was walked in three different areas of Swindon and developed the typical skin lesions. She is doing well and is being closely monitored at the moment. Whist is is not possible to know where exactly this dog picked up the disease (if it is Alabama Rot), the areas of concern include the woods at the polo ground near Coate Water, Stratton Woods and Lydiard Park. Please keep a close eye on your dogs, particularly if they are walked in the areas mentioned.
*21st December 2015 Update*
It has been reported that one of the 4 dogs with suspected Alabama Rot has sadly died. The other dogs are responding to treatment.
*14th December 2015 Update* -
There have been 4 as yet unconfirmed case of Alabama Rot seen in dogs walked in West Woods near Marlborough. 3 dogs had been walked together there an the other seperately. Please note that Eastcott Vets have not seen any cases and that this is an unconfirmed case. We will keep you informed of developments.
Extract from Swindon Advertiser:
It is understood the three cocker spaniels, who are known to each other, came down with sores on their legs, which is the first sign of the disease, last week following a walk in West Woods and it is thought the disease is picked up on paws and legs on muddy walks.
When the dogs' owner washed their legs and the lesions did not disappear she grew concerned and took them to a vets’ practice in Marlborough.
They are now being monitored for Alabama Rot, which can cause fatal lung failure in as little as three days after contracting the sores.
Two are being treated at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester, who have been researching the disease since it first came to the UK in 2012, and the third has been taken to the Royal Veterinary College in London.
Head of internal medicines at Anderson Moores, David Walker said: “Yes, we are treating dogs, but it is important to stress it is suspected cases. We had two come in on Wednesday and one on Thursday and one of them was moved to another centre on Friday.
“Although this is a serious disease, it is not invariably fatal and we do not want people to panic.
“The difficulty is we do not know the cause of previous cases. People have asked ‘will washing my dog after the walk help? I cannot say yes or no but it seems like a sensible thing to do.
“Be vigilant and if people are worried they should go to their local vets.”
Mr Walker said there has been 60 confirmed cases in the UK.
There was also a case last year in the New Forest and the Forestry Commission, who own West Woods, say they are investigating but do not want people to panic as it is not confirmed the suspected cases were as a result of walking in the woods.
An outbreak of a mystery disease has killed 17 dogs in recent months. 7 cases were in the New Forest between December 2012 and March 2013, with two more confirmed in that area this year. Surrey, Cornwall, Worcestershire and Co. Durham have also seen dogs affected. The disease which is currently unknown shows similarities to Alabama Rot, first recorded in the USA during the 1980s. Dog owners are advised to look out for wounds on the limbs or face of their dog, which will not heal. Affected dogs will also develop signs of severe depression, loss of appetite and vomiting, followed by kidney damage.
There were concerns after a Moredon dog walker took his dog to a vets worried that his dog had Alabama Rot. However vets stated
“It is definitely not Alabama Rot. We were worried that Colin's feet had been in something that was irritating him. We were more worried about the fact he was licking it and that is why we had to do blood tests”.
If you have any concerns re Alabama Rot or your dog's health, please contact the surgery for advice.