Warning for Borders dog owners after case of Alabama rot is confirmed in Hawick

Dog owners are being warned to watch out for signs of the deadly disease Alabama rot after a confirmed case in Hawick.

Dog owners are being urged to be extra vigilant after the second case of Alabama rot was confirmed in the Borders.
Dog owners are being urged to be extra vigilant after the second case of Alabama rot was confirmed in the Borders.

Veterinary specialist referral centre Anderson Moores also confirmed a case of the canine disease, also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy in Wimbledon, Greater London.

It brings the total number of cases this year in the UK to 25, thankfully a 50% drop from last year’s high of 52 cases.

There has only ever been one other confirmed case in the Borders, last year in Galashiels, which at the time was only the second known case in Scotland. In that instance, it was a young golden retriever, which had been playing around in local rivers, including the Tweed. Its owners spotted the lesions and took their pet to the vet, but its condition worsened and it died.

Owners are asked to wash off mud from woodland or waterside walks and check for any unexplained lesions in their pet’s skin.

David Walker, the UK’s leading expert on the condition from Anderson Moores, said: “We are sad to announce more cases from 2019, as we are now in the time of year when cases are most common.

“Further confirmed cases mean it is understandably very worrying for dog owners; however, 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.

“While there is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease, any concerned dog owners should visit www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot/ for advice and a map of confirmed cases.”

The highest number of confirmed cases have been in Greater Manchester, Dorset, Devon and the New Forest in Hampshire.

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, has been supporting research on the condition for a number of years, and is advising dog owners to contact their vet if they have any concerns.

He said: “While it is understandable that dog owners will be worried by Alabama rot, it is still a very rare disease and we’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet.

“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores.

“Treatment is supportive but is only successful in around 20 percent of cases, which is why we’re encouraging all dog owners to use the online interactive guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition, and visit a vet if they have any concerns.”