Alabama rot experts baffled

Alabama rot is keeping experts baffled by the increased number of cases of the mystifying disease, which has killed seven dogs already this year.
•It has killed seven dogs this year and almost 100 in the last four years in Britain.
•The crippling disease causes the dog to vomit and develop skin lesions

A Labrador called Lulu (right) is leading the fightback against the disease
Lulu was a very health dog before contracting the disease Alabama rot

Experts remain baffled by the increased number of cases of the mystifying disease, which has killed seven dogs already this year and almost 100 in the last four years in Britain.

The crippling disease causes the dog to vomit and develop skin lesions, which result in kidney failure and, in 80 per cent of cases, death.

Disease: Vets are warning of a fresh outbreak of Alabama rot, the deadly flesh eating canine disease, after a recent spate of dog deaths
Lulu has now got large skin lesions on her face after contracting the disease Alabama rot

Of particular concern for dog owners is the fact vets have no idea how Alabama rot can be prevented or how it is caused, although it’s thought to be picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks.

Lulu a Labrador is leading the fightback against the disease.

Lulu’s owner Michael Barlow, 50, has launched a charity called Stop Alabama Rot and is urging people to donate to fund research on the disease.

Michael, who was living in Lymington but has now moved to London, said: ‘A friend of mine who was walking Lulu while I was on holiday noticed she was off her food and subdued, and she had some small lesions.

Experts remain baffled by the increased number of cases of the mystifying disease, which has killed seven dogs already this year and almost 100 in the last four years in Britain
Lulu has skin lesions on hind leg after contracting the disease Alabama rot

‘Having heard the stories about Alabama Rot we wasted no time in taking her to the local vet where she stayed overnight.

‘The next day we transferred her to Anderson Moores vets near Winchester, as they are the experts when it comes to handling these cases.

‘We were initially told that Lulu probably wasn’t going to make it and we agreed there might be nothing to lose in admitting her to the Royal Veterinary College’s Queen Mother Animal Hospital in Hertfordshire, to undergo a non-guaranteed treatment called Plasma Exchange Therapy, or PET for short.

‘She underwent two rounds of PET and was kept in the intensive care unit for around three weeks.’ The good news is Lulu had pulled through

Cocker Spaniel Maggie is another pet to succumb to the disease just three days after her owner noticed sores on her legs after being walked near Poole, Dorset.

Devastated owner Cathy Moss, 57, said: ‘The loss of Maggie to Alabama Rot was such a shock because she was such a vibrant little dog and within the space of 36 hours she was gone.

‘First we noticed a sore on her foot and within the space of 24 to 48 hours she was really unwell.

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