Published: 10:00, 13 March 2018
Owners are urged to examine their pets after an unconfirmed report of a dog contracting Alabama Rot in Kent.
The potentially deadly disease is still rare in this country, but the number of cases are growing.
A closed Facebook account has this week suggested a dog has contracted the condition while being walked in the White Horse Country Park at Detling.
However, Kent County Council, which owns the park, said it was unaware of any cases.
None of the Maidstone vets contacted by KentOnline's sister paper the Kent Messenger had treated or knew of any cases in the area.
Nevertheless, dog-owners would be well advised to watch out for any symptoms, and seek help from a vet if they have any concerns.
These include skin lesions, particularly on the legs or chest, and swelling of the paws,
The exact cause of the disease remains unidentified, but it is thought to be linked to the E.coli virus and seems to be picked up more easily in muddy conditions.
The disease remains rare, with only 98 confirmed cases in the UK last year.
Dogs with the disease have recovered, but the best course is to take preventative measures by thoroughly washing mud off your pet after any walk.
A KCC spokesman said: “We have received no reports of any dog with Alabama Rot or any other contagious disease being seen in White Horse Woods.
“Although this would obviously be of concern to other dog-owners, evidence of an
affected dog in the park would be impossible to confirm, after it has left the site.
“We understand that the most recent confirmed case of Alabama Rot was in the
Ashford area four years ago.
“We can only reiterate the advice from the vets4pets website, that owners should
avoid taking their dogs for walks in muddy, wooded areas, especially if there has
recently been heavy rainfall. And if they do, they should wash their dog's paws and
legs thoroughly when they get back from the walk.”
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