A CASE of deadly Alabama Rot has been confirmed in a dog in Southam.
It takes the total number of incidents in south Warwickshire to three, with confirmed cases in Claverdon and Rugby.
Across the UK there have been some 150 dogs affected since 2012.
Little is understood about the skin and kidney disease – which originated in the US state of Alabama in the 1980s – but vets believe it is picked up by walking dogs in muddy wooded areas in spring and winter.
It is not known whether the three local dogs survived the disease, but in most cases it proves fatal.
Symptoms include a lump or patch of red skin which is often on the legs of the dog. Sometimes the skin can have an ulcer or open sore. They could also have signs of kidney disease such as a reduced appetite, being unusually quiet or tired.
And the only advice given to pet owners is to wash dogs after a walk if they become muddy and to take them to the vets immediately if they display any symptoms.
A spokesman from Avonvale vets – which has centres across south Warwickshire – said: “If you notice any signs – unexplained skin lesions, particularly if your dog is also unwell – then contact a vet as soon as possible. Your vet can carry out some tests that will help to identify the cause.
“It is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected. Most skin lesions will not be caused by this disease and most cases of kidney failure will have another cause.”