VETS have warned dog owners to be vigilant after a case of Alabama Rot was confirmed in the county last week.

An interactive map, which tracks the confirmed cases of the potentially deadly disease all over the country, added a marker for the Foxham and Birds Marsh area of the town following the death of a dog.

Vets4Pets have since confirmed that the dog, who is believed to have been from Foxham and has since died, had been walked near RAF Lyneham, Canalside and Crudwell before its death. 

As the exact location cannot be identified, dog owners are since being urged to stay vigilant, wash their pets' paws following a walk and check for signs of the disease, which include sores and legions. Within one week, pets can start to show physical signs of kidney failure, including vomiting, loss of appetite and unusual fatigue.

David Walker, the UK’s leading expert on the condition, from Anderson Moores, said: "It is understandably very worrying for dog owners, but we hope the increase in cases is partially due to a higher awareness and understanding of the disease.

“Although the figures have almost doubled since 2016, it is important that dog owners remain calm, but vigilant for signs of the disease, particularly over the coming months, as we are now in the peak season for cases of the disease.

“The first sign of the disease that is normally seen is a skin sore that isn’t caused by a known injury. Most commonly these sores are found on the lower half of the leg and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or are open and ulcer-like."

Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, has been supporting research on the condition for a number of years, and is advising dog owners to contact their vet if they have any concerns.

He said: “While it is understandable that dog owners will be worried by this increase in confirmed cases, Alabama Rot is still a very rare disease and we’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet.

“Unlike the Alabama Rot that affected greyhounds in America, the disease in the UK does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog.

“Treatment is supportive but is only successful in around 20 percent of cases, which is why we’re encouraging all dog owners to use the online interactive guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition. 

“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores. 

“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.

“This will help build knowledge about the disease and also give a dog the best chance of survival.

“However, it’s encouraging to see so many people from different organisations and fields of science coming together to find out more about Alabama Rot, and hopefully find the cause.”

For more information about the disease, or to check an area close to you, visit