Two cases of the potentially deadly canine disease Alabama Rot have been confirmed in Dorset.

A vet practice in Dorchester has now identified the disease in dogs in their practice for the first time which is also known as as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy).

Cases tend to be seen between November and May and the first symptoms include skin sores before becoming more serious.

However, Alice Moore of Castle Vets, in Dorchester, has said that dog owners should ‘not panic’ and that the condition remains rare.

She said: “We have had two cases in the last few weeks, It’s really horrible to have our first case.

“The trouble is it is still a very rare disease – however once it is diagnosed , as there are already major kidney problems – in practice it is very hard to treat and it is why it frightens people.

“But people should not panic.”

Dorset Echo: A file image of Alabama Rot sores on day 1 A file image of Alabama Rot sores on day 1 (Image: Supplied)

The disease typically affects dog breeds such as Labradors, spaniels and vizslas, but it is believed that all breeds are at risk to the disease.

The current thinking is that it affects dogs who are more outdoor based, however, the reality is that experts still do not know what is causing it.

Alice added : “Because it’s a new disease and is emerging, and we are doing research, it is hard to recommend prevention – we still don’t know what causes.

"It seems to be affecting outdoor dogs and those dogs that have walked in woodlands – they are assuming it is some toxin they are picking up on their foot.

"We are advising people to wash the dogs legs off when they come back in case it is something they are coming back with." 

Unfortunately one dog has sadly died, however, the other is now being looked after at specialist vets Anderson Moores, in Winchester, Hampshire.

Phoenix Canine Therapies, a clinical masseuse for dogs, spoke to the Echo about the dogs condition on behalf of its owners.

They said: “He is a healthy seven-year-old Labrador and they noticed the wound on the Tuesday  and it just got slightly bigger over the course of few days, on the Sunday (March 24) night they decided to speak to a vet.

“They said to come in if it was an emergency, but he was actually fit and well and thought nothing of it, and then the next day it was a lot worse.

“It was a tiny graze and became an ulcerated horrible thing and overnight it had become so much worse.”

“Giles at Castle Vets spotted it and sent it for testing and then it was straight up to Anderson Moores.

"The thinking is that it is in woodland but this dog did not walk in woodland, just on pavement and in fields."

Dorset Echo: A file image of Alabama Rot after six days A file image of Alabama Rot after six days (Image: Supplied)

According to the Anderson Moores there had been 19 cases in Dorset since 2012 when the data first started being recorded and these latest cases make that 21.

There were no cases in 2022 or 2023 but one case has been recorded in Shillingstone which means there have now been three cases in Dorset in 2024.

Alice has said that there is definitely a ‘potential increase of numbers in the area’ but it remains hard to give people exact advice on how to prevent their dogs from getting the disease.

She added: "Sadly we don’t know geographically to avoid certain areas – we don’t have the answers.

 "Because we cant isolate the cause it is much harder to investigate and more mysterious as a result – hopefully we can find an answer and find a vaccination or treatment.

"Washing dogs legs after exercise is good advice but it is just an assumption.

"Just be aware, if they have a lesion that looks unusual, and that you cant explain and are worried speak to you vet if we pick it up early there is a better chance."