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Health warning as dogs affected by deadly disease
Wednesday June 22nd 2016
Dog owners are being urged to wash their animals when they return from walks to reduce the risk of a disease that can cause serious problems with the skin and kidneys.
There have so far been 78 fatalities in dogs as a result of the fungal infection known as Alabama Rot, which can lead to skin lesions and kidney failure.
Cases of the disease have arisen throughout the UK in the South, Midlands, Wales, Lancashire, Scotland and Ireland, with 14 incidents seen in the first four months of 2016 alone.
Although the exact cause of the disease is yet to be identified, it is thought its origins lie in 1980s America, when greyhounds began to succumb to the mysterious illness.
But Alabama Rot, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, has now spread elsewhere, with some 16 counties in the UK now thought to be at risk.
Some experts believe the disease could be triggered by taking dogs for a walk in soggy woodland, and for this reason it is recommended that owners remove all traces of mud from their pets when they return home.
While environmental factors may also be significant, the disease is thought to have been prevalent in predominately rural areas, including Hampshire and the New Forest.
Copyright Press Association 2016