A VET has issued a warning to pet owners after a new case of a deadly dog disease was identified.

Alabama Rot is a skin disease which rapidly leads to fatal kidney failure and last month a case was reported in Chorley.

It is the fourth case to be confirmed in Lancashire since 2014 and is leading vets to issue warnings to dog owners across the region.

Sonia Green, practice manager of Chorley Vets, who treated the four-year-old lurcher, said: “Alabama Rot is exceptionally rare and the percentage of dogs getting it is 0.001 per cent.

“We saw the dog initially on January 25 which had lesions on the front left paw, and because the dog had been licking it, it was getting worse.

“We did not treat the dog for Alabama Rot at this point as it could have been a number of things. They brought him back the next day as he was ill after vomiting.

“He was transferred to night cover specialists PetMedics who treated him but he died the next day.

“It is frustrating for us as we don’t know where it is coming from as we have no idea why some dogs get it and others don’t.”

The first symptoms of Alabama Rot are skin lesions, ulcers or sores on the legs, body, mouth or tongue.

The disease is still very rare, especially in Lancashire, where the Chorley case is only the fourth to have been confirmed in the past five years.

The other three Lancashire dogs to catch the disease lived in Heath Charnock (November 2017), Fulwood, Preston (January 2016) and Garstang (June 2014).

In the most recent case. the dog lived in Brinscall and it had been walking on a path by the railway line, but also been with its owners to the Yorkshire Moors, and the vets do not know where it may have picked the condition up.

Sonia added: “It is devastating for us as vets as he was so healthy and we feel the owners’ pain and you build up a rapport especially.”

The vets insist that there is no need to panic.

She said: “We would urge dog owners to wash their pets’ paws down when they come back inside the house.”

David Walker, the UK’s leading expert on the condition, from veterinary specialists Anderson Moores, said: “Of course dog owners may be nervous about Alabama Rot, but it’s still an extremely rare disease, and we’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet as normal.

“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their vets.”