Dog owners warned after deadly flesh-eating disease 'Alabama Rot' confirmed in Rutland

A case of the extremely rare condition Alabama Rot has been confirmed in a dog in Rutland.

Alabama Rot is a disease that affects all breeds of dogs and if not spotted early, can lead to sudden and potentially fatal kidney failure.

Four cases of the disease have now been confirmed, including in Oakham, Rutland, by veterinary specialists 'Anderson Moores', who research the condition.

A symptom of Alabama Rot Credit: ITV Anglia

The condition, which attacks the flesh of dogs, was first detected in the UK in 2012 and the number of cases diagnosed has risen each year.

While there is no known cause, experts believe it could be picked up in muddy areas of fields and parks.

Since December 2012, a small number of cases have been seen throughout the UK with most in western and southern parts of England, and far fewer in East Anglia.

Dog owners are advised to wash their pets after a muddy walk Credit: PA

How to spot the signs of Alabama Rot (credit RSPCA):

  • Skin legions appear below the knee or elbow and occasionally on the face or at the bottom of the chest or abdomen

  • There may be visible swelling, a red patch or a defect in the skin (perhaps an ulcer).

  • Reduced appetite

  • Drinking more

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargy are signs of acute kidney injury

The RSPCA says although is extremely difficult to give advice about how to avoid Alabama rot, it is advisable to wash of all mud following a wet and muddy walk, especially through woodland.

If you are concerned that your dog may be suffering, you're urged to contact your vet immediately.

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, has been supporting research on the condition for a number of years.

He said: “While it is understandable that dog owners will be worried by Alabama Rot, it is still a very rare disease and we’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet.

“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care.

“Treatment is supportive, but is only successful in around 20 percent of cases."