Alabama Rot cases confirmed in Sidmouth and Honiton
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Thirteen new cases of the deadly dog disease Alabama Rot have been confirmed, two of which are in Devon - Sidmouth and Honiton.
It brings the total number of cases so far this year to 28.
In total, the UK has now seen 232 confirmed cases of Alabama Rot across 45 counties since 2012: six in 2012, five in 2013, 32 in 2014, 21 in 2015, 19 in 2016, 40 in 2017, 52 in 2018, 29 in 2019 and 28 so far in 2020.
David Walker, the UK’s leading expert on the condition, said: “We are sad to announce more cases from this year, as we are now in the time of year when cases are most common.
“Further confirmed cases mean it is understandably very worrying for dog owners; however, this disease is still very rare, so we’re advising dog owners to remain calm but vigilant, and seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.
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“While there is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease, any concerned dog owners should visit www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot/ for advice and a map of confirmed cases.”
The highest number of confirmed cases have been in Greater Manchester, Dorset, Surrey, Devon and the New Forest in Hampshire.
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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: “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 at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores.
“Treatment is supportive, but is only successful in around 20 percent 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, and visit a vet if they have any concerns.”