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Fears that deadly dog disease may have reached Greenham Common

Warning after Labrador reportedly dies from Alabama Rot

John Garvey


01635 886628

Warning issued for Greenham Common walkers after dog dies

A DOG has reportedly died from Alabama rot after being walked on Greenham Common, it emerged this week.

The news was broken on social media and shared on the Lambourn Community Facebook page.

The original poster, a member of a dog-walking community group based in North Hampshire, wrote: “My friend lost her lovely Labrador last week to Alabama rot after walking it at Greenham Common.

“Unfortunately, it’s spreading our way. It’s caught by them licking muddy paws. I am going to continue hosing mine down after each walk until I hear different.”

And at last Saturday’s Parkrun, runners were warned about Alabama rot on the common and were advised to wash their dogs feet once they left the area.

The condition, more formally known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, or CRGV, causes skin lesions and ultimately kidney failure and death.

The first symptoms are lesions or ulcers on the skin, which could appear as a patch of red skin or as an open ulcer or sore.

These sores are most commonly found on a dog’s paws or lower legs, but they can also be on a dog’s face, mouth, tongue or lower body.

Signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, tiredness and vomiting.

Vets4Pets in Newbury said that no cases had been reported to it.

But its website showed three confirmed cases within a 20-mile radius of Greenham Common.

In November last year, the Newbury Weekly News reported how one dog had died from Alabama rot after walking in Frilsham Woods.

Milly Phillips had taken her two Labradors to the woods in October when she noticed they both developed the telltale skin lesions. One of them, Bunker, lost his life.

Nearly 20 dogs died of the disease in the New Forest in 2013.

And in 2016, a Hungerford vet sought to reassure dog walkers on Hungerford Common, following an unconfirmed report of a case in Lambourn and one fatal case in Hungerford.

The owner of The Veterinary Hospital, Hungerford, Jonathan Green, urged owners to keep a sense of proportion.

He said at the time: “It’s a very serious condition, but also very rare.

“No one knows for certain what causes it and all we can do is offer symptomatic treatment and treat the kidney failure.

“There have been reports of dogs contracting it after being walked in woodland, but owners have been known to attribute any skin lesions to it.

Mr Green added: “It is still very rare.”

Dr Kim Stevens, of the Royal Veterinary College, is carrying out research into the disease.

She said: “This research is designed to look for geographical patterns, as well as environmental and climatic risk factors.

“An obvious pattern that we can see is linked to seasons, with the vast majority of cases occurring between November and March, and limited cases over the summer.”

Since its discovery in 2012, there have been 109 cases of Alabama rot, spread across 30 counties in the UK.

The interactive map showing reported cases of the disease is available online at http://www.

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Article comments

  • Kernow

    08/03/2018 - 14:02

    Well said browntrout! We all like a good scare, the vets4pets though does have a good website designating "known" locations, but none of them locally actually state WHERE precisely the dog in question was walked and this reporting is like me 'phoning in a report to NWN that I have just seen Putin directing new Russian nuclear missiles into the Greenham Bunkers, get real! Having said that and speaking to my local vetinary, AR they say is extremely rare but to be on the safe side wash your dog's paws and if small, their underbelly after a walk, makes sense to me, any odd signs call them straightaway. I suppose in NWN defence that the only way to sell any media, is and always has been on the basis of threat, scaremongering, guilt, salaciousness and pure unconfirmed gossip!


  • Browntrout

    08/03/2018 - 09:09

    Shame on you NWN - Articles like this should be based on FACT not Hearsay (Facebook?!?!). This is every dog walkers biggest fear and your reporting is irresponsible. No one has confirmed that this dreadful disease is present at Greenham Common and I for one would never trust any opinion from the Vets you quote. This is a serious issue that needs serious reporting and FACTS, not scaremongering - you have always been better than that in the past!


    • I have no name

      08/03/2018 - 14:02

      Do you not think that even if untrue the potential risk being shared with the community is a good thing? while tests are being made take a 2 minute precaution by washing your dog after being there? I was advised there would be signs going up at the common this week warning dog owners of it. Would you rather wait until more cases are confirmed before people are warned of it?