UK: Alabama Rot cases are on the increase as outbreak intensifies
Vets are warning pet owners to be on the alert for signs of a flesh-wasting bacteria which has killed several dogs in the last couple of months. But what can we as pet owners do to ensure that our pets do not succumb to this deadly disease?
Alabama Rot, which was first identified in the US, is caused by E. Coli bacteria excreting toxins which cause skin lesions on a dog’s body and legs – and eventual kidney failure in many cases, according to an article recently published by The Independent.
Originally spotted in greyhounds in the 1980s, experts have warned recently that other breeds are also being affected after five dogs died since October. Mike Nolan, of the Darley House practice in Greater Manchester, told the Western Daily Press that cases affecting cocker spaniels and labradors had happened at the same time.
“The worry is that this might be the beginning of a cluster of cases,” he said. “If you think you dog might be presenting with this illness, it really is a case of drop everything and get to the vets.” He added that it was possible to save a dog if treated very early and very vigorously – but that the likelihood of death was high.
Infection by Alabama Rot can also only be absolutely confirmed via post mortem, leaving vets to guess at the likely diagnosis when the dog appears to be unwell
According to the Western Daily Press, there have been 55 confirmed deaths between November 2012 and March 2015, with these five more bringing the figure to 60. One woman took her two cocker spaniels on a walk, and several days later noticed lesions on their legs. One of the dogs had to be put down.
“It was heartbreaking and there was no other decision we could make,” she said.
Here at PetHealth and Nutrition, we are not qualified to dispense medical advice. However, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health or nutrition, we do strongly recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
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