Vets at Chaseview Veterinary Clinic want to allay people’s fears about Alabama Rot, after there have been two cases locally where this disease has been suspected.

Kate Kerry, a director and veterinary surgeon at Chaseview Vets told the Ross Gazette they have been dealing with two suspected cases but, she said, as there is no test without a post mortem it is difficult to know for sure that this is what is causing these dogs to become so ill.

Alabama Rot is a disease that causes damage to a dog’s blood vessels and the kidneys. It is a mysterious disease which is hard to identify and sadly, very difficult to treat. It is usually fatal.

Numerous other cases around the area have also been mentioned on social media, including Newent and Mitcheldean.

Chaseview has provided some information online for dog owners and said: “We would urge you to remember that although this is a dangerous and serious condition, the numbers of true cases diagnosed are still very low and the vast majority of skin lesions will not be Alabama Rot. We continue to advise that you wash dogs off following walks, particularly after walking through wet and muddy areas such as woodlands or near lakes.

The locations mentioned on social media of where the dogs suspected of contracting the disease have been walked, are the river meadows in Ross-on-Wye, Mitcheldean, Newent and May Hill.

She added the disease is barely understood and a great deal more research needs to be done but the important thing to remember is just how few cases there have been in this country.

She said it has only been seen in the UK since 2012 and there have only been 90 confirmed cases.

Kate added that although people should not panic about Alabama Rot she is pleased to see so much interest in it, as raising awareness will only help in encouraging research into this disease.

Sores on dogs’ legs are very common and it is more likely that the cause will not be Alabama Rot but Kate added it is still good advice to check your dogs throughly and if you are concerned contact, your vet to put your mind at rest.