Three dogs treated for a possibly deadly disease picked up in Marlborough's West Woods
Three dogs which may be suffering from the serious dog disease Alabama Rot are being treated for symptoms picked up while walking in West Woods just south west of Marlborough. None of the three cases has yet been confirmed by vets as being Alabama Rot.
Today (December 14) two of the dogs are being treated at the Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists' hospital near Winchester - and a third has been referred on to a specialist centre in London. The disease is sometimes referred to as a 'flesh eating' disease.
David Walker, a clinician at the Anderson Moores hospital, told Marlborough News Online: "A very small number of dogs have been affected in relation to the numbers of dogs walked every day. Owners should not panic, but should be aware of the disease and on the look out for symptoms."
"Treating this disease early gives the best chance of a good outcome."
The first symptoms are lesions - usually on the lower leg and foot. The disease can then affect the kidneys - and may prove fatal. However, the cause of the disease remains unknown. It does not appear to be passed from one dog to another.
The disease was first identified in the USA in the 1980s. It is very rare in Britain - the first identified outbreak occurred in the New Forest in 2012.
Alabama Rot has the official name idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (or CRGV.) Though occurring in many different parts of the country, most of the cases in Britain have been in the southern counties of England.
One dog thought to have contracted the disease near Swindon in March 2014 showed symptoms within 20 minutes of returning from a walk. He started gnawing his paws, struggled to stand and his paws looked burnt.
Research published in the Veterinary Journal in March this year said that over an eighteen month period 30 dogs had died from the disease in Britain.
There is a useful article about the disease on the Forestry Commission's website.