Alabama rot: what you need to know
There has been a lot in the press recently about Alabama rot as recorded cases in the UK doubled in the last year and continue to rise. The Countryside Alliance is asking dog owners to remain calm yet vigilant. The disease remains extremely rare, but as it is relatively new to the UK it is important all efforts are taken to distinguish causes, vectors and symptoms at an early stage.
There were 40 recorded cases in the UK of the deadly Alabama rot in 2017, twice as many as in 2016. Worryingly, the increase appears to be continuing as 30 recorded cases have been seen throughout the UK in 2018 already. However, this increase may be due to an improved awareness and understanding of the disease.
Cases this year have been reported in Little Hulton and Sale (Greater Manchester), Lincolnshire, Axminster and Plymouth (Devon), Worthing (West Sussex), Tooting and Dulwich (London) and Hayle (Cornwall).
Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said: “While it is understandable to be worried, there is absolutely no requirement to change your daily practices. Instead, we suggest dog owners should keep up to date with confirmed cases around the country and report any abnormal symptoms such as skin lesions to their veterinary practice immediately. It is only if there are reports of Alabama rot in your local area that extra precautions should be taken.
“Work and research is ongoing to discover more about this disease and it is essential that every dog owner plays their part in helping stop the spread of Alabama rot.”