A local vet insists fatal disease Alabama Rot remains rare, despite fears from dog owners after unconfirmed cases were found in Burley.
Alabama Rot is a disease that affects the blood vessels in dogs and can be deadly if not treated quickly.
Florence Juvet, a vet at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists, said: “It’s a disease that remains extremely rare, although its outcome is dramatic.
“Over five years, there’s been about 130 confirmed cases across the UK, and there’s about eight million dogs, so it’s a small percentage.
“However we’re talking about a disease that is lethal in 90% of the cases, we don’t know how to prevent or how to treat, so it does scare people.”
She explains the New Forest has been prolific in Alabama Rot cases in the past, but doesn’t think the disease is related to a specific location.
There were unconfirmed cases of Alabama Rot in Burley earlier this month, according to Bransgore Vets in Christchurch.
The disease tends to occur mostly during wet winters, so it’s probable there is an environmental trigger, according to Ms Juvet.
She adds: “Dogs have a lot more chance of being run over by being poorly controlled in a town than catching Alabama Rot.”
How to recognise Alabama Rot
It’s a disease of the blood vessels in the kidneys and skin and leads to skin lesions and renal failure.
It’s mostly discovered through dogs acting lethargic or owners noticing ulcer like sores on their pet.
However, these symptoms are not a definite sign of Alabama Rot.