Pet owners urged to hose down their dogs after taking them for a walk

Daily Echo: Sarah Thairs Sarah Thairs

HAMPSHIRE dog owners are being urged to wash their animals after taking them for a walk in a bid to protect their pets from a deadly disease.

Experts believe the mystery illness is similar to Alabama Rot and has claimed the lives of a number of dogs in the New Forest.

Earlier this month, Sarah Thairs' Patterdale fox terrier, Tegan, succumbed to the toxin after they visited the ancient woodland and heath.

The same condition has been linked to the deaths of 12 dogs in the New Forest since December 2012.

Now one pet owner Steve Smith, a forester, from Worcester, who lost both of his pets Polly and Jess, says not washing his animals after taking them for a walk cost them their lives.

His third dog, Judy, survived after being cleaned.

He is reported as saying: “I'm convinced the link is E.coli. Polly and Jess were not washed, they groomed themselves, licked their coats and ingested the mud and soil.

“Judy also became ill but did not get kidney failure. I believe giving her a bath saved her life.”

He said that experts in the US then told him that the case “mimicked” Alabama Rot.

Although investigations are continuing, it is not confirmed that E-Coli is causing the disease in Britain.

Comments (3)

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11:35am Wed 2 Apr 14

S Pance says...

E-Coli is carried in horse and cattle poo. Probably how the disease is spread; horses and cattle carry the disease then are transported to other areas which would account for the apparently spurious outbreaks.

Why oh why hasn't anyone seen this connection before??
E-Coli is carried in horse and cattle poo. Probably how the disease is spread; horses and cattle carry the disease then are transported to other areas which would account for the apparently spurious outbreaks. Why oh why hasn't anyone seen this connection before?? S Pance
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Thu 3 Apr 14

jezebellow says...

E Coli would seem to be a likely explanation I agree. It would explain why an announcement was made yesterday that it was due to ingesting raw meat. This was misleading I though because most infected dogs don't ingest raw meat. However, E Coli would explain that as it is also present in undercooked or raw meat. Why hasn't anyone joined up the dots?
E Coli would seem to be a likely explanation I agree. It would explain why an announcement was made yesterday that it was due to ingesting raw meat. This was misleading I though because most infected dogs don't ingest raw meat. However, E Coli would explain that as it is also present in undercooked or raw meat. Why hasn't anyone joined up the dots? jezebellow
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Sat 26 Apr 14

In search of the truth. says...

ARTICLE ABOUT ALABAMA ROT DISEASE WHICH IS KILLING DOGS ACROSS BRITAIN< WHICH APPEARED IN LIVERPOOL ECHO.

Alabama Rot disease threat to Liverpool's dogs Apr 26, 2014

Fatal disease spreading through Britain as warning issued to avoid woodland areas

Dog owners are being warned about Alabama Rot Pet owners have been urged to be vigilant after two dogs died from a mysterious and untreatable disease, Alabama Rot.

Alabama Rot had previously only been seen in America. Last year a similar disease killed dogs in the New Forest, and now two dogs have died in Wigan, sparking fears that it may now be in Merseyside.

The disease is usually fatal and has affected a range of breeds, including border collies, jack russells, Hungarian vizslas, springer spaniels, cocker spaniels and a doberman.

Dr Dan Batchelor, who is a specialist vet at the University of Liverpool, said: “Most affected dogs have a history of being walked in woodland areas. Most of the reported cases have been in Hampshire but the disease has been reported in other areas including Lancashire and Cheshire.”

He has detailed some of the symtoms: “The syndrome is associated with skin wounds, often on the legs, that can develop up to several days after the walk. Dogs also develop severe acute kidney injury. Signs of kidney failure can include loss of appetite, depression, and vomiting. The mortality rate is sadly high despite treatment.”

Alabama Rot was first reported in greyhounds in America in the 1980s.

“The cause of the disease is unknown even though extensive testing has been carried out,” said Dr Batchelor.

“The original disease in greyhounds was thought to be a toxin produced by bacteria in contaminated or raw food but this has not been confirmed in UK cases.”

But he reassured owners that the disease is still rare. Only a very small number of dogs have been affected and the disease does not appear to pass from dog to dog. Some people have speculated that it may be caused by dogs eating a certain type of vegetation in woodland or even by a type of pesticide used on trees, but no official link has been found.

“The reported cases are an extremely small percentage of all dogs that exercise in woods and forests,” he said.

“However, it is advisable to keep dogs under close control in woodland areas and dog owners should be aware of anything that their dog eats, chews or picks up. If owners notice wounds on their dog after exercise in wooded areas, or if they are worried about their dog’s symptoms, they should take the dog to their vet. Most vets are now aware of the condition.”

A Wigan council spokesman said: “We’ve received official confirmation that sadly two dogs have died as a result of contracting Alabama Rot. Further tests are taking place so it’s possible more cases will emerge in the coming weeks. Alabama Rot is very rare but there has been a recent outbreak in southern England. Very few dogs have been affected but the disease can be deadly in some cases.

“Dogs with the disease can suffer kidney failure and/or skin lesions. The cause of the disease remains unknown.”

Michelle Langan from Wavertree said: “I have two dogs myself and it has definitely made me more cautious about where I walk them. What's scary about the disease is how quickly it proves to be fatal, and that there is no cure for it. I will be keeping my dogs away from wooded areas for the time being, as I don't want to risk either of them catching it.”
ARTICLE ABOUT ALABAMA ROT DISEASE WHICH IS KILLING DOGS ACROSS BRITAIN< WHICH APPEARED IN LIVERPOOL ECHO. Alabama Rot disease threat to Liverpool's dogs Apr 26, 2014 Fatal disease spreading through Britain as warning issued to avoid woodland areas Dog owners are being warned about Alabama Rot Pet owners have been urged to be vigilant after two dogs died from a mysterious and untreatable disease, Alabama Rot. Alabama Rot had previously only been seen in America. Last year a similar disease killed dogs in the New Forest, and now two dogs have died in Wigan, sparking fears that it may now be in Merseyside. The disease is usually fatal and has affected a range of breeds, including border collies, jack russells, Hungarian vizslas, springer spaniels, cocker spaniels and a doberman. Dr Dan Batchelor, who is a specialist vet at the University of Liverpool, said: “Most affected dogs have a history of being walked in woodland areas. Most of the reported cases have been in Hampshire but the disease has been reported in other areas including Lancashire and Cheshire.” He has detailed some of the symtoms: “The syndrome is associated with skin wounds, often on the legs, that can develop up to several days after the walk. Dogs also develop severe acute kidney injury. Signs of kidney failure can include loss of appetite, depression, and vomiting. The mortality rate is sadly high despite treatment.” Alabama Rot was first reported in greyhounds in America in the 1980s. “The cause of the disease is unknown even though extensive testing has been carried out,” said Dr Batchelor. “The original disease in greyhounds was thought to be a toxin produced by bacteria in contaminated or raw food but this has not been confirmed in UK cases.” But he reassured owners that the disease is still rare. Only a very small number of dogs have been affected and the disease does not appear to pass from dog to dog. Some people have speculated that it may be caused by dogs eating a certain type of vegetation in woodland or even by a type of pesticide used on trees, but no official link has been found. “The reported cases are an extremely small percentage of all dogs that exercise in woods and forests,” he said. “However, it is advisable to keep dogs under close control in woodland areas and dog owners should be aware of anything that their dog eats, chews or picks up. If owners notice wounds on their dog after exercise in wooded areas, or if they are worried about their dog’s symptoms, they should take the dog to their vet. Most vets are now aware of the condition.” A Wigan council spokesman said: “We’ve received official confirmation that sadly two dogs have died as a result of contracting Alabama Rot. Further tests are taking place so it’s possible more cases will emerge in the coming weeks. Alabama Rot is very rare but there has been a recent outbreak in southern England. Very few dogs have been affected but the disease can be deadly in some cases. “Dogs with the disease can suffer kidney failure and/or skin lesions. The cause of the disease remains unknown.” Michelle Langan from Wavertree said: “I have two dogs myself and it has definitely made me more cautious about where I walk them. What's scary about the disease is how quickly it proves to be fatal, and that there is no cure for it. I will be keeping my dogs away from wooded areas for the time being, as I don't want to risk either of them catching it.” In search of the truth.
  • Score: 0

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