Two dogs die after contracting mystery illness in Leigh area
Updated 11:19am Thursday 24th April 2014 in North West
TWO cases of Alabama Rot have been confirmed in the Leigh area, according to Wigan Council.
The council has issued advice on its website and says it has received official confirmation that two dogs have died after contracting the mystery illness in the east of the borough.
The webpage also states that further cases are being investigated and it is therefore possible that more cases will emerge in the coming weeks.
A meeting organised by residents was held to discuss the suspected outbreak in the area last week.
Tyldesley resident Gary Hallows, who suspects that his cocker spaniel Sally died from the disease, said: “The meeting went really well, about 300 people turned up and we were struggling to fit them all in.
“Gareth Jones from Tyldesley Veterinary Surgery kindly gave up his time and spent an hour and half talking to us and answering people’s questions about the disease.”
Mr Hallows believes Sally contracted the disease in the Squires Lane area of Tyldesley and suspected cases have also been reportedly contracted around Lilford Woods.
“I have seen a sign up near where I used to walk my dogs to warn people but I don’t know if there anymore as I don’t want to walk down there,” Mr Hallows said.
“Gareth told us what little is known about the disease which isn’t much because no one seems to be researching it.
“He told us to make sure we wash our dogs down and get all the mud off them and our footwear after a walk.”
Alabama Rot causes skin lesions and or kidney failure and owners should take their dog to the vet if they notice a change in their dog's behaviour, eating habits or lesions on their skin.
The council stresses that only few dogs have been affected so far and that the disease does not seem to pass from dog to dog.
Mr Hallows has helped to set up a Facebook page called ‘Alabama Rot in Leigh and Tyldesley’ to inform residents about the suspected outbreak.
A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “The council's role in relation to this issue is to provide confirmed information and pointers to further advice.
"We are in communication with vets both locally and nationally. So far we have been made aware of two confirmed cases in the Leigh area.
“We have provided advice and information on our website at www.wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2014/April/Alabama-Rot-in-Wigan-Borough.aspx.
"If anyone has information that could assist the investigation of this disease, you can help by completing the Animal Health Trust's online questionnaire at www.aht.org.uk/alabamarot.”