Tag Archives: woods

About Alabama Rot

I’m sure many of you have heard of Alabama Rot and it’s occurrence in the UK over recent years. While the number of cases have remained small, it is still a disease worth looking out for. Alabama Rot often leads to fatalities in dogs, so please take a moment to read this post which explains the disease and also gives advice on how to try and prevent it.

 

What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama Rot was first discovered in the USA in 1980, and primarily affected Greyhounds. However, especially after its arrival in the UK, it has been discovered that the disease can affect any and all breeds of dog, and so far the disease has been found to only exist in dogs with no other animals contracting it thus far (including humans). While the number of the cases in the UK are quite low (around 60 cases between 2012 and 2015) the fatality rate is 9/10 and so is not something to be taken lightly. While the last thing anyone should do is panic, it is important to be aware of the seriousness of the condition so that any suspicions that your dog may have contracted it are reported immediately. Currently, the cause of Alabama rot is unknown.

 

What are the signs of Alabama Rot?

There are several symptoms of the disease that present themselves in dogs. While some of these symptoms may also be related to different conditions it is advised that you stay on the safe side and get your dogs checked out at the vet.

  • Skin lesions (usually on lower leg and elbows. Also on the tongue and mouth)
  • The hair around lesions will fall off, potentially causing the dog to lick excessively
  • Kidney failure (vomiting, fatigue, lack of appetite)
  • Ulcers and sores

The average time between skin lesions and kidney failure is around three days so it is imperative you get your dog to the vet in this window. While it can be difficult to distinguish lesions from cuts and other wounds, it is advised that you take action even if you are only a little concerned. As the disease is rare, most vets will not know how to treat this illness and so it is worth either calling or getting referred to the Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists. They have extensive knowledge of the disease and have dealt with the majority of cases. They are also an amazing practice, our experience with them when Inky was sick (with an unrelated illness) was amazing.

 

How can you protect your pet?

While there is no vaccine for Alabama Rot and no known means of cause or prevention, there are a few things you can try and do to help to protect your dog from the disease. The main thing you can do as an owner is keep a close eye on your dog while walking to monitor anything they may pick up, chew, or eat on their walks. If they become ill, call a vet as soon as possible and provide clear and accurate details of the illness.

It is advised that you try to avoid walking your dog in forested areas if possible, as this is where the disease is often contracted, however there is no certain evidence that the disease is based on environmental factors. So far, cases have occurred as far apart as Cornwall and Yorkshire with a spike of cases appearing in the New Forest in 2013. Recently, Gloucestershire was also affected along with Northern Ireland.

The disease is currently thought to be picked up on muddy paws and legs so it is strongly advised that you give your dog a thorough wash after a mucky walk. This may help prevention of the disease.

While the disease can be contracted all year round, the vast majority of cases occurred between November and May. This suggests a possible association with winter and spring, but unfortunately we still have no certain evidence.

 

How can you keep updated?

The Alabama Rot website is excellent for updates on recent occurrences of the disease and also for giving advice on what to do if you are afraid your dog has contracted it. We highly recommend that you follow them and their reports so that you can stay updated on news about Alabama Rot in your area and any signs that a cause or vaccine may have been discovered.

Please also be sure to keep Anderson Moores Veterinary Surgery’s details to hand in case you should encounter the condition, as they are specialists and know how to best treat the condition.

There are many dogs who have survived Alabama Rot, if you are even a little afraid that your dog may be sick with it then please do not hesitate to get veterinary advice. Please note that we at Philomena London are not veterinary professionals, and while we do our best to gather reliable sources information may not always be 100% accurate.

5 Great Places to Walk Your Dog: Hertfordshire

Welcome back to another installment of the 5 great places to walk your dog! Hopefully you’ve been enjoying all of our walking destinations, and maybe you’ve tried a few out yourself. If you have, we’d love to see some of your photos in the comments or maybe sent into our Philomena London Facebook page!

This week we’re taking a look at the walks in Hertfordshire, so clip on your dog’s lead, get out of the house, and start looking for a new walk time adventure!

1. Radwell Meadows

Radwell Meadows

As always, I am sure to put in at least one accessible walk every week. This week I bring you Radwell Meadows, which is 13 miles of beautiful open land. The flat, paved routes make this both an excellent walk for those of you who need more accessible travels, but also for the walker who is looking for an easy walk with their dog. If you are into wooded areas, however, there is a small one to be found within the open land. This particular walk would be the perfect opportunity to use one of our Beco Rope Balls for a fantastic and energetic game of fetch, so why not pick one up from our website and have a game with your dog?

2. Northaw Great Wood

Northaw Great Wood

Perfect for the age old art of Picnics in the woods, this walk is both wonderful and peaceful. Take a little basket of food and be sure to take advantage of the picnic tables along the route. With loads of wildlife to see and a forest filled with nature, this walk is sure to please everyone involved – including the dog! With a sweet little river, this woodland walk is sure to encourage your dog to explore and sniff to their heart’s content. For the historian dog walker, one of the routes takes you to an old WWII site, so do be sure to check it out!

3. Therfied Heath

Therfield Heath

If you’re looking to walk aimlessly for miles then I think we found the perfect walk for you. Hundreds of dogs are walked on this heath, and so for a day of mindless walking and socialisation with other dogs I couldn’t recommend this walk more! Whether you stay on or off the path it won’t challenge you and so while your dog wanders and interacts you can have some time with your thoughts and yourself. After you’ve enjoyed your wander, why not stop at the local dog-friendly pub for a quick refreshment (of the non-alcoholic type if you’re driving) before the journey home?

4. Colney Heath

Colney Heath

Another relaxing walk, this health-land is large and open, with some woodland spotted around and a little stream. A picturesque and peaceful stroll, it’s sure to be great fir you and your furry friend, after all you both need some time to unwind with a little peace and quiet. This walk can be made as long or as short as you like, with some extended routes stretching across to some fishing areas. If you do decide to take a particularly long route, however, do be careful when you come to the road as it can get quite busy so do be sure to put your dog on a lead before you cross! When you’re finished your walk, you’re very close to the town, so maybe stop by in one of the local pubs or cafes for a refreshing beverage or even a spot of lunch.

5. Hyde Lane

Hyde Lane

Our final walk this week is at Hyde Lane, which is a combination of woodland, open fields, and (every dog’s favourite) a river. With several different routes to take, every walk is sure to be a new adventure, although if your dog loves to swim and play in the water we recommend the water route. With the ability to make the walk as long or as short as you like, there is no end to the combination of walking activities you and your dog can take part in. There’s even something for the historian dog walker, with an excellent and informative information board on the Roman villa site that can be found in Hyde Lane’s surrounding fields, so be sure to take a look and maybe learn some new and interesting facts about the area.

 

Thank you for reading another week of 5 great places to walk your dog, hopefully you have some enjoyable walks ahead of you and maybe you’ll take this long weekend to give them a go. Next week we’ll be looking at Herefordshire, so be sure to tune in again next Friday for the latest news on where to walk and why!