Dog owners warned after pet pooch catches Alabama Rot disease and is put down
A heartbroken dog owner has shared a warning after her beloved Cocker Spaniel died from a deadly disease called Alabama Rot.
Rebecca Fox, 29, and her husband James were holidaying in Delamere Forest, Cheshire, with their dogs in mid-May and had also visited beaches in North Wales.
The couple, from Leicestershire, arrived at the cabins on May 14, but one week in they noticed that their Cocker Spaniel Millie was frantically licking her paw.
Millie was also limping and holding her paw up, so Rebecca and her husband decided to get some antiseptic spray to see if that would help.
By the Sunday, Millie became ‘very lethargic’ but the couple put that down to their pet being tired as she was on holiday.
Rebecca said : “It was a very wet week and it was awful weather, so it was very muddy everywhere. Lots of water, especially lots of mud around the site where we were in the forest.
“We had been there for a week, and so the next Friday we were all in the log cabin and Millie started frantically licking her front paw.
“So we thought it had got a bit infected, she was limping and holding it up as well by that point. It came on really suddenly.
“On the Saturday, we went to a Pets at Home nearby and we got her some antiseptic spray.
“But we obviously we didn’t allow her to go on a walk because we didn’t want anything getting in it.
“By Sunday night she was very lethargic and we thought because we had to other dogs and that we were on holiday as well, we thought she was a bit tired.
“She was a bit of a drama queen in general anyway, so anything that she possibly had wrong with her she was like ‘oh my god I am dying’.
“So we didn’t really think much of it and we come back home on Monday, May 24 and she was very quiet coming home.”
Rebecca and her husband decided to take Millie to their local vet as her paw was infected.
The couple were initially given a antiseptic bathing treatment to treat Millie’s paw. But on the Tuesday, the Cocker Spaniel’s condition got worse.
Rebecca added: “We booked an appointment at our local vets at 6pm that night because we were worried about her paw infection as it was pussy and everything.
“Initially they sent us away saying it was a paw infection and gave us some antiseptic bathing stuff to put on her.
“By the Tuesday afternoon she started being sick and that continued and deteriorated all day.
“Then she couldn’t move much and couldn’t keep her limbs still.
“So we took her back at midnight that Tuesday and she stayed at our local vets all night and they rang us on the Wednesday to say her kidney numbers were rising dramatically, that they were failing basically.”
The 29-year-old said she and her husband decided to take the opportunity to send Millie to specialists in Solihull, as they suspected Millie had Alabama Rot.
The cause of Alabama Rot remains unknown, but is a disease which damages the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys.
It causes blood clots that can block blood vessels and causes ulceration and severe organ dysfunction.
Symptoms include unexplained redness, sores or swelling of the skin and vomiting, reduced appetite, and tiredness caused by kidney failure.
Despite the best efforts of the vets, Millie started to deteriorate further and the couple got the devastating call to say it was best if they come in.
Rebecca said Millie couldn’t move and she was ‘dying in front’ of them.
Devastatingly, the couple made the decision that the ‘kindest thing’ was to have Millie put down and she died on May 28.
Rebecca said: “We had to do the kindest thing unfortunately and put her to sleep.
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“She was only six-years-old, a happy active spaniel. It was just how it took her, from finding the paw to her dying was just seven days.
“And she was a well and happy dog and this is why we want to raise awareness of this disease because of how quickly it takes dogs when it gets hold of their kidneys.”