Dr Ian Hopkins, principal vet for Willows Veterinary Group, cared for the dog with his team at the group’s main veterinary hospital in Hartford, near Northwich, after it was referred to them from a partner veterinary surgery in Alsager.
Post mortem tests confirmed last night that the dog had died from the disease which has no known cause and damages a dog’s kidneys, frequently proving fatal.
Hopkins, who has been a vet for almost 25 years, insisted that the disease is very rare and urged dog owners ‘not to panic’ and to ‘seek veterinary advice’ if they were worried about their pet’s health.
Ian added: “At Willows Veterinary Group, we provide care to tens of thousands of dogs throughout Cheshire, North Staffordshire, South Manchester and in to the Wirral and this is the first case of Alabama Rot which we have had confirmed in two years.
“While it is absolutely devastating for the owners, the staff involved and very sad for the dog, I think it is important not to panic people and to stress there are lots of nasty diseases out there which, as responsible dog owners, we need to be on our guard against.”
He continued: “The best advice is to continue enjoying exercising your dog but always be mindful of certain symptoms which may indicate a nasty disease such as Alabama Rot. These can include lethargy, vomiting and maybe your dog is drinking more than usual.
“With Alabama Rot, the dog will often have skin lesions/ulcers – in the mouth, on the tongue and lower limbs including feet are common place.”
Cases of Alabama Rot have recently been reported in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire.