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Alabama Rot cases continue to rise

by Ellen Hardy
03 January 2018, at 4:02pm

The deadly disease Alabama Rot has claimed the lives of three more dogs, taking the total of confirmed cases to 112 since it was first detected in the UK in 2012. The new cases, in Cannock (Staffordshire), Alsager (Cheshire) and Edgbaston (West Midlands), have been confirmed following tests by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists.

It’s been only two weeks since six other cases were confirmed, adding support to the theory from vets and researchers that seasonality may be a factor in the spread of the mysterious condition – most cases occur from November to April.

David Walker, a leading expert on the condition, from Anderson Moores, said: “Although we are working hard to find out the cause of Alabama Rot, it is currently still unknown, which makes the reappearance of the disease concerning. It’s always desperately sad when we con rm new cases; however, it’s important that dog owners remain calm, but vigilant, particularly during the next few months.”

These are the second set of new cases of the disease since the first ever Alabama Rot conference in May 2017, where specialists from across the UK gathered to discuss ongoing research and set up a steering committee to share and collate any new findings. Following the conference, the first stage of research was planned, with funding from the New Forest Dog Owners Group and the charity Stop Alabama Rot. This work is nearing completion.

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, has been supporting research on the condition for a number of years, and is advising dog owners to contact their vet if they have any concerns. He said: “Unlike the Alabama Rot that affected greyhounds in America, the disease in the UK does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog.

“Treatment is supportive, but is only successful in around 20% of cases, which is why we’re encouraging all dog owners to use the online interactive guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition.”