Dog owners everywhere are being cautioned about this disease that could be potentially fatal for your four-legged friend.
Alabama Rot can affect kidneys and eventually be fatal. It often presents itself as skin sores, making most owners unaware of what's happening.
‘Often there will be a scrape or ulcer to an area, often feet. There could be red areas with black centers often found on the legs and muzzle," said one vet organization on Facebook.
90% of Alabama Rot cases are fatal if not caught soon enough.
Early symptoms include lesions on a dog's skin and paws, and sores and open wounds.
If these develop over the next 10 days, it can lead to kidney failure. The signs of that are:
- reduced appetite
Cathy Moss lost her dog Maggie within a matter of three days because of this disease known as "Black Death."
“It was astonishing – it was only about three days from us noticing the sores to her dying," she said. “It was just awful.”
So how do dogs contract Alabama Rot?
Specialists aren't 100% sure, but the running theory is that pools of water in woodland areas are a breeding ground for the disease. The puddles host a slimy, blue-green algae which contains the bacteria. When dogs drink from the puddles, they contract the deadly disease.
“The best thing dog owners can do is be aware of the symptoms and access their vets as soon as they see signs of sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy," said Animal Health Trust spokesperson Farrah Owens. "Dogs that visit their vet quickly tend to recover.”
A Forestry Commission spokesperson said, "Owners should always keep their dogs under close control and be aware of anything they may pick up, chew or eat in a woodland area."
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