Vets in Leeds have confirmed that a dog has died of Alabama rot in the city's first case of the flesh-eating disease in two years.
The dog was treated at Vets4Pets in Colton, east Leeds, but staff were unable to narrow down where it might have caught the illness as it had been walked in so many different areas.
Leeds dog dies of parvovirus after being walked in Bramley Fall Woods
Alabama rot, also known as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy), was confirmed by specialists at Anderson Moores in Winchester, who are leading the research into the condition, after the dog's body was sent for testing. The disease has a mortality rate of around 30 per cent.
Dog put to sleep at vets in Guiseley after developing Alabama rot
It is the sixth confirmed case in West Yorkshire since 2012 and the first in Leeds since 2017. There have been 10 cases UK-wide so far this year.
Dog owners have been advised to wash their pet's feet and legs after a walk to prevent infection.
In January, a dog from Huddersfield fell ill with Alabama rot after being walked at the beauty spot Hollingworth Lake.
Other cases have been confirmed after dogs were walked in Ripon, Leeds, Keighley (Penistone Hill), Haworth, Guiseley, Otley Chevin, Yeadon Tarn and Golden Acre Park in Adel.
Alabama rot was first found in the UK in 2012 and since then over 100 dogs are thought to have died from it.
Last January, there was an Alabama rot scare in the village of Osmotherley, near Northallerton, but the case was never officially verified and was later confirmed to be a false rumour which had spread on social media.
Is your dog at risk of Alabama rot?
Alabama rot is hard to treat and the exact cause is unknown.
According to Vets4Pets, which is tracking the disease's spread, only about 30 per cent of dogs survive once diagnosed with the condition.
One theory is that dogs can pick up the disease from mud. The flesh-eating bug flourishes in cold weather.
The scientific name for it is 'cutaneous and renal glomerular vaculopathy (CRGV).' The condition can affect any age or breed.
What are the symptoms of Alabama rot?
Alabama rot is a flesh-eating condition in dogs. The first sign is often a sore on the skin, usually under their elbow or knee. The skin can become red and the sore can look like an open ulcer.
After just a few days, the dog will start showing signs of kidney failure. Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, vomiting and a loss of appetite.
Can I prevent my dog from getting it?
Many vets think dogs can pick up the infection through mud on their paws and legs, so to be extra vigilant, clean any wet and muddy areas on a dog's body after a walk. Avoid pools of stagnant water.
Can vets treat Alabama rot?
Vets say there is a chance of survival of if diagnosed early. They will first treat skin sores and kidney failure, but could refer your pet to a specialist hospital.
This disease is still very rare, so we’re advising dog owners to remain calm but vigilant, and seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.