Vets based near the New Forest are warning of suspected cases of the deadly dog disease Alabama Rot.

Forest Lodge Vet Practice, based in New Milton, and Bransgore Vets are both urging dog owners to be vigilant.

Although rare, there have been 30 confirmed cases of Alabama Rot across the country this year alone.

The disease has claimed the lives of more than 10 dogs in Dorset since 2012, with the most recent fatality in Shaftesbury in February.

Bransgore Vets said there had been “unconfirmed but likely” cases of Alabama Rot in Burley over the last few days.

The recent cold and wet weather “is typical for the appearance of this condition”, they said.

They are advising owners to wash their dogs thoroughly with clean water after muddy walks and be vigilant for any sores on the legs, paws, or face.

Also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), Alabama Rot cause lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth. These lesions can look like bites, sores, wounds or stings, but some dogs can develop life-threatening kidney failure.

Although rare, only 15-20 per cent of dogs survive the deadly disease.

The cause is currently unknown, however research is being funded by the New Forest Dog Owners Group and the charity Stop Alabama Rot.

Forest Lodge told followers on Facebook it had heard “rumours of a suspected case of CRGV” in the local area.

“Whilst prevalent across the country at the moment we have not been made aware of any cases in the local area for a few years,” they said.

“Unfortunately we do not have any further details regarding the suspected case but we would urge you all to continue to be vigilant - but please do not panic as the disease is still very rare and not enough is known about its origins at this time.”

They added: “Our thoughts are with the owners of the poorly dog at this time and we wish them well. The biggest worry connected with CRGV (Alabama Rot) is that the exact cause is still unknown so we cannot advise how to avoid your dog being exposed.

“Vital research is ongoing and funds are needed to keep this going so that we can try and gain an insight into how to treat and prevent this horrible disease.

“The NFDog research fund has provided the funding for a lot of the research so far and we urge you to consider donating or fundraising if you want to help find the much needed answers.”

As previously reported, specialist fish vet Dr Fiona Macdonald is investigating a possible link between Alabama Rot and a bacteria found in fish that causes similar symptoms.

Her theory is that an organism called Aeromonas hydrophila infects a dog’s skin, and toxins produced by the bacteria travel to the kidneys, causing failure.

The organism can be found in fresh or brackish water, common bodies of water near popular dog paths.