COUNTY NEWS: Dog's death definitely down to flesh-eating disease

A dog's death has been confirmed as 100 per cent Alabama Rot, following a post-mortem this week, and officially the first recorded case of the disease in West Sussex.

Thursday, 25th February 2016, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2016, 11:05 am
The family dog had to be put down due to kidney failure

Mother Nicky Cornford had her worst fears confirmed yesterday when she received a call from specialists Anderson Moores to confirm her dog’s cause of death as the flesh-eating disease.

She said: “Anderson Moores phoned and confirmed positive result from the post-mortem.”

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.

One sympton is legions found on the paws

After consulting Pets at Home in Rustington and specialists Anderson Moores, Nicky was given a verbal diagnosis of Alabama Rot, a rare disease which was first detected in the US in the 1980s.

There are more than 60 confirmed cases in the UK since 2012, and Dash is the first to have died from the disease in West Sussex.

Nicky said: “I just really want awareness to be out there and for his death not to be in vain, so other people can try and avoid it.”

Symptoms of Alabama Rot include skin lesions on the stomach and paws, lack of appetite, tiredness and vomiting.

Dash was found to have sores on his paws and stomach

Internal medical clinician at Anderson Moores, Laura Holm, said dog owners have been washing their dog’s paws after a walk, but there is no research to support that this is an effective prevention.

In fact, it is still unknown what causes the horrific disease, which leads to kidney failure.

When Nicky’s story broke yesterday, Wednesday February 25, there was an outpour of kind words from fellow dog owners.

On Facebook, Sam Truscott, said: “Well done for being so brave Nicky Cornford and spreading the word. Lots of love to you all.”

Dash the dog developed a sore on his stomach

Melanie Stubbs said: “Such a sad story Nicky Cornford, still can’t believe you’ve all had to go through that! Well done for sharing! Hope by highlighting this awful disease, it will prevent it happening to anyone else’s poor dog! Lots of love.”

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

To read the original story, click here

One sympton is legions found on the paws

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Dash was found to have sores on his paws and stomach

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Dash the dog developed a sore on his stomach