DOG owners are being warned to take extreme caution as a second deadly dog disease has been confirmed in Lancashire, less than a week after reports of parvovirus were reported.

According to the online animal advice website Vets4Pets, 20 cases of Alabama rot have been recorded within a 20-mile radius of Blackburn over recent months, resulting in the death of one dog in Chorley.

News of this disease comes just after The Lancashire Telegraph reported that vets were warning of a potential outbreak of another fatal infection, parvovirus, which is highly contagious and has already killed a dog in Padiham.

Speaking about what to look out for when looking for signs of Alabama rot, veterinary nurse at Hillcrest Animal Hospital, Alex O’Hagan said: “The first sign of the disease is usually in the shape of ulcerations on the legs, paws and tongue.

“Most commonly the sores are found on the lower half of the leg and appear as a distinct swelling.

“One of the most worrying aspects of the disease for both professionals and pet owners is that no known cure has been found, meaning the majority of cases unfortunately result in death.

“There is little research on the disease and professionals are unsure of the what causes it and how it’s prevented.

“There’s no way to diagnose it when an animal is alive – only once the dog has died and a post-mortem is carried out can a case of Alabama rot be confirmed. This also means we are unsure if dogs are surviving the disease.”

Vets4Pets were able to confirm that prior to contracting the disease, the Chorley dog had been walked along Lower Rivington, along the canal from the White Bay Marina and around King George Playing Fields.

Experts say there appears to be seasonal fluctuations to the disease, with most of cases appearing between November and June.

Alabama dog rot was first identified in greyhounds in the state of Alabama in the 1980s.

Clinically, Alabama Rot is known as idiopathic Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy – or CRGV, for short.

After the first recorded case of the disease the infection practically vanished and as such, no clinical research was carried out.

The disease was then first detected in the UK in 2012 and year on year vets are warning that the numbers of fatalities are increasing.

Vet says that if you suspect your pet has contracted the disease, the best thing to do is remain calm and bring your dog in to your nearest surgery.

Alex said: “It can be very easy to worry when you see a small laceration or ulcer on your pet, especially with the amount of reports confirmed of Alabama rot in the area.

“We’ve had people calling in really concerned about their pets and it’s easy to understand why.

“Unfortunately, we can’t diagnose over the phone.

"If you’re concerned about your pet the best thing to do is being them to you nearest surgery."

An Alabama Rot Research Fund charity has now been established with the aim to promote research into all aspects of the disease so little is known about.

An initial donation of £5,000 was received by the charity to cover set-up costs, and the cause now aims to raise £240,000 to put towards research.

To find out more about Alabama rot and to see if any further cases have been reported in your area, visit

- Do you know any dog owner who has been affected email