Experts have said a second dog has died of Alabama Rot in West Sussex, confirmed late last night.
A dog from Angmering is the second pet this week to have died as a result of the deadly disease that causes kidney failure.
Owner Gavin Balchin, of Angmering, said he believes his dog, Lola, came down with the symptoms after it was walked in Angmering Park Estate, just a week ago.
Gavin said: “We took our dog to Ferring Street Vets because she had what we believed to be a cut on her foot and we took her to be cleaned up.
“They said because of the recent stories and worry of Alabama Rot we would like to do a blood test, and it showed that one of the chemicals in the blood were ever so slightly raised, so we had the dog on a fluid drip over night at Grove Lodge Vets.”
At the time, Gavin described the flatcoated retriever as ‘healthy’ and ‘wagging her tail’, but following further blood tests Lola showed deterioration of the kidneys.
Lola was taken to Anderson Moores – leading specialists in the disease – and an expert told Gavin the dog would not recover.
It was put down two days later.
Following a post-mortem the cause of death returned as Alabama Rot Wednesday night (February 24).
This comes just a matter of hours after a dog in Littlehampton was confirmed to have died from the same disease.
Although there is no known cause of it, many dog walkers have suggested washing their pets’ paws after a walk.
But Gavin said he routinely washed his dog’s paws.
The father added that he was walking a number of dogs in Angmering Park Estate on behalf of relatives, and only one was affected.
He said: “It’s worth making the point that it could happen to anyone.”
Gavin lives with his wife and four-year-old daughter, with a baby on the way.
He said: “Lola dying is particularly bad timing. It’s obviously upsetting for all of us,”
Nicky of Winter Knoll, Littlehampton, took her dog, Dash, for a walk in Patching Wood, but three days later she noticed a sore had developed on his stomach.
The mother-of-two was given the devastating news of her dog’s diagnoses on Wednesday afternoon.
Patching Wood and Angmering Estate Park are approximately four miles apart from each other, and have been marked on a map provided by Anderson Moores to indicate where suspected cases have been.
Symptoms of Alabama Rot include skin lesions on the stomach and paws, lack of appetite, tiredness and vomiting.
There have now been 69 confirmed cases in the UK since 2012.
David Walker of Anderson Moore, said these two confirmed West Sussex cases could just be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
He said: “We have similar cases in small areas previously.
“What is always difficult to know is what these dogs were exposed to and how many cases have there already been?
“This is still a rare disease, but people should be vigilant, if they see skin legions they should go to their local vets.”
To read about Nicky’s story, click here
To read about Nicky’s dog’s confirmed diagnosis, click here
You can see where cases of the disease have been reported on this map here
Research into Alabama Rot is being carried out by the New Forest Dog Owners Group, but donations are needed. To help, click here
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