A WARNING has been issued to dog owners after cases of a deadly canine virus have been reported across the UK.

Alabama Rot, a disease which affects dogs, damages the animal’s blood vessels, kidneys and skin.

So far this year, the virus has killed five dogs across the UK.

Since the illness was first discovered in the UK in 2012, there have been three reported cases on Alabama Rot in Bury, with more in the surrounding areas of Bolton and Oldham.

According to data collected by veterinary services provider, Vets4Pets, cases of the disease have been recorded in Bury as recently as 2017.

Both Vets4Pets and the RSPCA warn that a common symptom of the illness is skin lesions which typically appear below the knee or elbow, but sometimes on the face, chest or abdomen.

Alabama Rot can also cause sore skin at the knee or elbow and if not treated quickly, may lead to kidney failure.

As it is thought that the disease is picked up from mud, the a RSPCA recommends dog owners wash woodland mud off their dogs after returning from a walk.

The Bolton News: Alabama Rot map. Photo: Vets4petsAlabama Rot map. Photo: Vets4pets

Cases found on the Vets4Pets map

Alabama Rot, also known as, Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is mostly reported by pet owners who walk their dogs in the countryside, with most cases  reported during winter and spring.

Cases are rarer in the summer compared to colder months.

Since 2017, seven cases of Alabama Rot were reported in Bolton, with one case as recently as April last year.

Likewise, a case was in Oldham was reported at around the same time.

Despite the severity of the virus, the RSPCA has advised that only a very small number of dogs are affected by the illness.

The disease first appeared among greyhounds in the US state of Alabama and has gone on to affect around 300 dogs in the UK since 2012.