A WILTSHIRE dog died after contracting the fatal Alabama Rot disease.

The dog, believed to have been from Foxham, was walked near RAF Lyneham, Canalside and Crudwell.

It is the second confirmed case of Alabama Rot in north Wiltshire, according to firm Vets4Pets, who are monitoring the spread of the disease.

Dog owners have been warned to remain vigilant for signs of the disease in their pets.

Symptoms of Alabama Rot include:

  • Skin sores
  • Lesions
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exhaustion

Vet David Walker of Anderson Moores said: "It is understandably very worrying for dog owners, but we hope the increase in cases is partially due to a higher awareness and understanding of the disease.

“Although the figures have almost doubled since 2016, it is important that dog owners remain calm, but vigilant for signs of the disease, particularly over the coming months, as we are now in the peak season for cases of the disease.

“The first sign of the disease that is normally seen is a skin sore that isn’t caused by a known injury. Most commonly these sores are found on the lower half of the leg and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or are open and ulcer-like."

Swindon Advertiser: Alabama Rot confirmed cases. Picture: VETS4PETSAlabama Rot confirmed cases. Picture: VETS4PETS

Map of confirmed Alabama Rot cases near Swindon. Credit: Vets4Pets

Alabama Rot was first identified in greyhound dogs in the USA in the 1980s. The disease can cause kidney failure. A course of treatment is available – but only successful in a fifth of cases, Vets4Pets say.

It is believed that Alabama Rot is picked up on dogs' paws and legs on muddy walks. 

Dog owners can reduce the risk of the disease by:

  • Washing off woodland mud after walks;
  • Checking for signs of Alabama Rot (like sores on paws and legs);
  • Calling the vet if you are worried your dog may be infected.

Dr Huw Stacey of Vets4Pets said: “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.

“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.”

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "If dog owners are concerned their pet may be affected by this condition we would urge them to contact their vet immediately for advice.”

For more about Alabama Rot, visit: www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot.