THE ‘gutted’ owner of a dog who died of Alabama rot in Horwich has said there were absolutely no signs of the rare disease.

Reginald Parkinson’s three-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux Nala passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mr Parkinson, of Brownlow Road, was walking Nala around Rivington on Monday, near Liverpool Castle.

The 51-year-old said the dog started to be sick in the afternoon and gradually got worse throughout the day.

Eventually Nala died in Mr Parkinson’s car, while he was driving her to the vets.

Mr Parkinson said: “It all happened very quick.

“She’s been completely fine, she hasn’t been ill at all.

“She had a couple of marks on her toes but she had skin allergies and was always getting breakouts - I don’t think she had the best immune system.

“I only found out that it was Alabama rot after the autopsy. It was a shock”

Alabama rot, also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is an increasingly common disease in dogs which causes damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys.

Dogs with the disease can suffer from skin ulcers and acute kidney failure.

Earlier this year, cases were confirmed in Lostock and Atherton. Last year, there were also cases in Westhoughton, Farnworth and Little Lever.

In total, the UK has now seen 186 confirmed cases since 2012, with 52 cases in 2018 and 11 in 2019.

Owners are advised to wash their dogs after walks and check for any unexplained redness or sores on the skin.

“I did everything that people suggest," Mr Parkinson added.

"But there’s nothing you can do really. It’s crazy.

“I’m absolutely gutted, she was a big part of my life.

“My head’s just been battered the last few days. I’m completely at a loss.

“She was such a beautiful girl and such a gentle giant.”