Dog owner’s warning after family pet dies of mystery ‘Alabama rot’ virus

23 January 2020, 11:01 | Updated: 23 January 2020, 11:05

Dog owners are warning over a new virus
Dog owners are warning over a new virus. Picture: Getty Images

Alabama rot has taken the life of one woman’s beloved dog.

A 22-year-old woman was left devastated when her family dog Lily contracted ‘Alabama rot’, and died just weeks later.

She knew something was wrong when ‘gashes’ began to appear on the nine-year-old Labradoodle’s body in October last year.

Speaking to The Mirror, the anonymous woman - who lives near Glasgow with her family - said the cuts looked "like something out of a horror film".

Just days later, the poor animal's kidneys began to fail and the family were left with no other option than to put her down.

Alabama virus causes 'gashes' and 'sores' to appear on the dogs body
Alabama virus causes 'gashes' and 'sores' to appear on the dogs body. Picture: Getty Images

Describing it as “a cruel disease,” she told the publication: "It wrecked her body. She was covered in gashes. It looked like something out of a horror film."

Warning other pet owners of the virus, she went on: "It was basically in the span of two weeks - a normal healthy dog to a dead dog.

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"She was our best friend, we grew up with her. It’s really rocked all of us."

It’s been reported that just over 200 cases have been diagnosed across the country since 2012.

Another woman in Devon recently spoke out about having to put her dog to sleep after it contracted the disease last year.

As reported by Devon Live, Tamara Egglestone first noticed Poppy had a "small sore on her paw" which she wouldn't stop licking back in December.

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Just a few days later, Poppy had gone quickly down hill and was vomiting with sores all over her body.

Sadly, the pooch’s kidneys started to fail so she was later put down.

What is Alabama rot?

Not much is known about Alabama rot, while initially thought to have been caused by another animal's bite, but now it is thought to live in the ground.

It is not breed specific, so can affect any dog.

What are the symptoms of Alabama rot in your dog?

The cruel disease will present as sores on the paws, face and body area.

Internally, it can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, and lead to renal failure.

How can you prevent Alabama rot?

Unfortunately, there's no sure fire way of preventing your dog from catching the disease and treatment is only successful in 20% of cases.

Vets have said owners should make sure to wash paws after muddy, woodland walks and if there are any sores on your dogs body, you should contact a vet urgently.