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DOG ALERT: Deadly dog disease contracted by pet near Maidstone

Monday 12th March 2018

PET owners in Maidstone are being warned of a deadly disease affecting dogs that has been picked up in the area.

Downs Mail understands a dog, from Detling, contracted Alabama Rot within the last week; this brings the number of confirmed cases to 13 in 2018, with the nearest other incident in Ashford.

Skin lesions, unexplained redness, sores or swelling of the skin on the paws, legs, body, face, tongue or mouth are often the first sign of this disease, identified in the USA, in greyhounds, in the 1980s.

The majority of cases, which often prove fatal, are reported over the winter and early spring and it is thought that muddy conditions may help its spread.

The disease affects all breeds and as little is known about the cause it is proving difficult to advise owners of how best to protect their animals, although contact with affected animals is not advised.

Canicross clubs, where owners run with their dogs, have responded by cancelling outings to the White Horse Woods millennium park on Detling Hill and the nearby Hucking Woods Estate until further notice.