March 9 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Thursday, January 23, 2014
A killer disease - similar to “Alabama rot” - has so far avoided spreading to Hainault Forest, according to experts.
The Woodland Trust, which oversees more than 50,000 acres of woodland in the UK, including Hainault Forest, has asked dog owners to “be vigilant and keep an eye on their pets”.
The unknown disease has killed 17 dogs in the last year and leaves animals vomiting, suffering painful lesions and can even result in fatal kidney failure.
Andrew Sharkey, head of woodland management at the trust, said: “We’re asking that visitors to woodland be aware of this disease, which appears to be similar to Alabama rot.
“We have had no reports associated with Hainault but if any dog owners believe their pet picked up the illness in a Woodland Trust wood, please let us know so we can put up signs to make other dog owners aware.
“Dog owners should always be vigilant and keep an eye on their pets for any symptoms.”
Mr Sharkey added at the first sign of any of the symptoms dog owners should take their animals to the vet.
Cases have been reported in the New Forest, Surrey, Cornwall, Worcestershire and County Durham.
Alabama Rot developed in America in the 1980s in greyhounds, but there are fears it has now spread to other breeds.
For more information about the disease, call 01476 581135.