Pet owners across the UK are being warned that a deadly disease affecting dogs is again spreading across the country.
Owners are being urged to take extra precautions when out walking their pets to help combat deadly Alabama Rot.
The mysterious illness, which kills 80 per cent of affected animals, first appeared in the late 1980s affecting greyhounds in America, and cases in the UK have increased year-on-year since it was first detected here in 2012.
In 2012 there were just six cases confirmed but this grew to 19 in 2016 and 40 in 2017.
And 2018 looks likely to set an unwanted record, with 29 cases confirmed already.
The disease, which has baffled vets, is often not spotted until it is too late and the dog is already seriously ill.
Early symptoms include sores and skin lesions, typically below the knee or elbow, which are not wounds from an injury.
Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “If a dog becomes affected the best outcome will probably come from early and intensive veterinary care, which has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering.
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately."
The cause of the disease, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is still unknown.