March 2016...Easter Opening Hours
January 2016... Alabama Rot
Alabama rot is the name being given to an often fatal skin condition seen in dogs. The name comes from a similar condition seen in Alabama, USA but has only been seen in the UK in the last few yrs.
Little is actually known about the condition.
Severnside Vets have not seen any cases from dogs walking in the Forest of Dean., but here is a summary of what we do know:
The condition appears to be linked to dogs walking in certain wooded areas in the winter, especially in muddy conditions.
The condition starts off as skin sores- usually on the lower legs , below the elbows and knees, and sometimes involving the nose. The sores appear as red ulcerated areas.
Untreated, the condition leads to (amongst other things) non-reversible kidney failure, thought to be due to bacterial toxins, possibly E.coli or Clostridial.
Treatment- aggressive intra-venous fluids (admit for a drip), antibiotics and supportive treatment, but once the kidney symptoms develop (lethargy, off food, increased thirst, vomiting) the condition is often fatal.
Please bear in mind that we haven’t seen any cases here, but in affected areas, owners are advised to not walk dogs in the known suspect woods during the winter.
Perhaps, stick to walking on the drier forest tracks and paths, and don’t let your dogs run around in the undergrowth and to the sides of the tracks.
After walking, wash and dry the dogs legs and body.
If you see sores on the legs then bear in mind that for any real chance of success we need to start early and agrressive treatment. There is no simple test for the condition, and the skin sores are not diagnostic. If we blood sample for kidney function, then by the time the kidneys are shown to be affected it is probably too late. Therefore if the skin sores look suspicious we will recommend admitting your dog for intra-venous fluids and antibiotics.
Above all, please bear in mind that this is a very rare condition. We haven’t recognised any cases here. Do I still walk my dog in the Forest? Yes- but on a lead and I stick to the tracks.
I hope that this helps, Mark