Fatal dog disease Alabama Rot confirmed in NI - DAERA calls for pets owners to be aware of symptoms

Alabama Rot - image posted on Jubilee Veterinary Centre Facebook page
Alabama Rot - image posted on Jubilee Veterinary Centre Facebook page

Vets have called for vigilance after a much-loved pet died after contracting Alabama Rot disease.

This appears to be the only case of the deadly disease in NI so far.

A post on Jubilee Veterinary Centre's Facebook page says: "Alabama Rot case confirmed in Cookstown ❗️

"📍 Alabama Rot is a disease of unknown cause, but it is thought to live in the ground. It is not breed specific, so can affect any dog.
"📍 It will present as sores on the paws, face and body area. 📍 Internally, Alabama Rot can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, and lead to renal failure.

"What can you do?
✔️ Make sure to wash paws after muddy, woodland walks.
✔️ If you notice any sores on your dogs body, please contact us urgently.

"We will keep you posted if we hear any further updates on Alabama Rot in Northern Ireland."

Meanwhile Vet NI has reported: "VETS!!! BE AWARE . . . A case of Alabama Rot has been diagnosed in Northern Ireland.

"This is a devastating disease so your dog-owning clients may well be concerned.

"Please be ready to advise them of symptoms.

"Though the syndrome is not fully understood, an environmental link may be implicated therefore possible preventative measures such as rinsing dogs after a muddy/woodland walk may be helpful.

"Alabama Rot is still thankfully very rare and prompt action, ideally before renal symptoms occur, improves the chances of a successful outcome therefore be vigilant for any unexplained cuts/skin lesions, particularly on the legs and lower body."

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural (DAERA) said: "Alabama Rot is not a notifiable disease and as such there is no requirement to notify DAERA of any suspected or confirmed cases.

"Pet owners are encouraged to be aware of and vigilant for the signs and symptoms of Alabama Rot which include unexplained skin lesions.

"It is recommended to seek advice at the earliest opportunity from a private veterinary practitioner should there be any concerns”