As an island nation, the UK has been thankfully largely free of rabies. Now though, there is another disease that threatens dogs.
That disease is called Alabama rot. This morning, the BBC reported that in a recent outbreak, no fewer than 13 animals have died across the country.
The first symptoms are lesions, including ulcers, especially around the hind legs. Usually, the animal dies of renal failure.
The disease was first recorded in the 1980s; its medical name is cutaneous-renal vasculopathy. There appears to be little published research on it; the latest major medical article is from 2002: Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy in a great dane resembling `Alabama rot' of greyhounds, by A. Rotermund.
For those of you with access, interest and the medical knowledge, it was published in the Veterinary Record, and can be found in the usual subscription databases.
For the general reader, including dog owners, a summary can be found on the Australian website Vetbook.
Here is another report, from 1993 by Kansas State University. It remains to be seen if it is practical to subject infected animals to dialysis as suggested herein.
Regarding the dog deaths in the UK, the area mainly affected is the New Forest. Last April, the Foresty Commission issued this news release. This has now been updated; the latest version can currently be found here. As will be seen, although this can't really be described as an outbreak, yet, there have been cases dating to December 2012, and there have been two cases in that area very recently.
Dog owners in the New Forest area especially should take note, and in the rest of the UK.