The East Hampshire owner of a dog that recently died from a rare and incurable disease believes a walk in the woods may have led to her death.
Hannah Povey believes her two-year-old cocker spaniel Betsy contracted Alabama Rot during a walk in Chawton Park Woods.
The Farringdon woman has now urged fellow dog owners to “know the symptoms” after a vet in Winchester confirmed the cause of death.
Cases of Alabama Rot are rare in the UK, with 150 related deaths being reported among dogs between November 2012 and March 2018.
The cause of the disease is unknown but researchers believe that wet and muddy conditions may be a contributing factor.
The condition damages blood vessels on canine skin and leads to sores and ultimately kidney failure.
Hannah was interviewed by the BBC after taking to social media in a bid warn other dog owners of the disease after Betsy was put down on Sunday by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists.
She took Betsy to the vets after her “usually highly energetic” dog started limping, went off food and developed a sore on her paw a few days before dying.
She said: “I took her to the vets and blood tests didn’t come back with any results.
“We went home with antibiotics and painkillers for her but she still wasn’t eating. We took her back to the vets but on Sunday we were told there was nothing more they could do and we were called in to say goodbye to her.”
The Kennel Club said that reports of the disease seem to be increasing but the rise could be down to either more cases or increased awareness of the condition among vets and owners. The RSCPA recommends to dog owners washing off all mud following wet and muddy walks, especially through woodland in order to minimise the risk.