DOG walkers have been warned of new cases of Alabama Rot – which kills four of every five pets it infects.
A dog has died of the disease near Surbiton, Surrey, following recent deaths in Wiltshire, Bishops Waltham, Hants, Powys in Wales, and Leyland, Lancs.
Alabama Rot causes skin lesions and can lead to fatal kidney failure.
Since it reached Britain from America in 2012, hundreds of pets have been stricken.
The disease thrives between November and May, particularly in fields, woods and parks.
Vets are urging owners to keep up with regular exercise but wash down their pet after walks.
David Walker, a veterinary specialist on the condition, said owners wanting to take their pets for exercise during the lockdown should be "calm but vigilant".
He said: "These further confirmed cases mean it is understandably very worrying for dog owners.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALABAMA ROT?
- Skin lesions on the legs, body, mouth or tongue
- Dogs licking sores
- Little or no appetitte
"However, this disease is still very rare, so we're advising dog owners to seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.
"While there is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease, any concerned dog owners should seek online guidance for advice and a map of confirmed cases."
Vets are desperately searching for a cure for Alabama Rot, which has killed scores of dogs, with the death rate soaring year on year.
Another vet, Dr Ian Hopkins, said "The best advice is to continue enjoying exercising your dog but always be mindful of certain symptoms which may indicate a nasty disease such as Alabama Rot.
"These can include lethargy, vomiting and maybe your dog is drinking more than usual.
"With Alabama Rot, the dog will often have skin lesions or ulcers – in the mouth, on the tongue and lower limbs including feet are common place."
Source: Read Full Article