Alabama Rot: Dog owner’s disease alert after Cannock death
A dog owner is calling for more people to be made aware of the symptoms of Alabama Rot after his pet died from the disease.
Philip Richardson, whose sprollie Jake died from the disease in November, said he believed many of the cases are misdiagnosed because not much is known about it.
The 51-year-old from Wimblebury said: “I think figures are distorted in relation to the disease.
"I was speaking at length with a vet and they were extremely helpful but her words were that as a vet it is quite frightening because they don’t even know how many misdiagnosed cases there are.
“I do believe before winter is over, there will be more cases.”
The warning comes after the latest confirmed case was reported in Edgbaston two weeks ago.
Mr Richardson's pet was one of two dogs that died after a suspected outbreak in Cannock Chase in November.
Alabama Rot is a fast-acting deadly disease that causes damage to dogs’ blood vessels as well as kidneys and there is no known cure or cause.
It is believed to be caused by environmental factors and most cases occur during winter.
There have been 112 confirmed cases since 2012 when it was first detected in the UK, with 29 cases in 2017.
The first symptoms include lesions which develop quickly to cause kidney failure that is fatal.
David Walker is an Alabama Rot specialist at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists who confirmed the most recent case.
He said: “It is unlikely that there are large numbers of dogs that are not being identified but we are still learning a lot about the disease.
“We want people to know it is relatively rare. The best way to avoid the disease is by washing their paws after a walk and checking for early symptoms such as lesions on the legs, chest as well as abdomen.”
Alabama Rot Research Fund is a charity that raises money for research into the disease. Donations can be made at www.arrf.co.uk/