Alabama Rot dog death in Galashiels prompts warning

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image captionThe case was confirmed by Border Vets in Galashiels

Dog owners have been urged to be "extra vigilant" after an Alabama Rot death in the Borders.

Vets said the case in Galashiels was thought to be only the second one confirmed in Scotland.

The condition causes dogs to develop skin wounds or ulcers and in some cases can cause kidney failure which is often fatal.

Borders Vets urged owners not to panic but to take precautions by not letting pets play in muddy areas.

Also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), Alabama Rot was first detected in the UK in 2012 and the number of cases has risen each year.

Skin lesions

However, the only other confirmed Scottish case is thought to have been one in Dumfries and Galloway three years ago.

Borders Vets said the owners of the young retriever which had died had asked not to be named.

They said the pet had been playing in and around local rivers - including the Tweed - in the days before she became infected.

She developed skin lesions on her legs and was taken to Border Vets, but she deteriorated and it was not possible to save her.

'First sign'

Clinical director Mel Broad said: "As a profession, vets still don't know what the underlying cause of Alabama Rot is but it might be a bacteria contracted from water or muddy ground.

"The first sign is usually a sore on the legs, belly or face which might be bald, swollen, moist and quite red looking.

"The infection then causes irreversible kidney failure so almost all dogs affected will sadly die."

Advice is to try to avoid letting dogs play in muddy areas or, if they do, to wash them when they get home.

Owners have also been asked to check for any unexplained scrapes or sores and monitor their eating and drinking should they become lethargic or go off their food.

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