ANOTHER dog has died after being exposed to the mystery New Forest toxin that has claimed the lives of at least 13 other canines.
Charlotte Gladman said a tearful goodbye to her dog Harley after he succumbed just six days after coming into contact with the substance in Holmsley - the first incident of its kind in the area.
Now she's warning other dog owners to be vigilant amid fears the deadly disease is more widespread than initially feared.
Harley, a three-and-a-half-year-old collie-labrador-dalmatian cross, became ill after cutting his leg while out walking.
Charlotte said: “We walked him at Holmsley near the old airfield and that is the only place we have taken him in the last few weeks. Six days ago he came back with a lesion on his leg and we were worried about it so we rubbed steroid cream on it and gave him antibiotics.
“But it wouldn't go away and four days later he started being sick. We took him to the vets and then he was sent to a specialist but he was just too ill and his kidneys failed.”
Now Charlotte, a teacher, and consultant engineer husband Richard, who live in Walkford in the New Forest, are grieving at the loss of a beloved family member and friend to their 18-month-old son Alfie.
Charlotte added: “He was a rescue dog that we had since he was 12 weeks old.
“The vets at Anderson Moores in Hursley were so good and did all they could. I'm really grateful and they have done biopsies on Harley so hopefully the results will help them find the cause of these deaths and stop them in the future.
“Most of all I just wanted people to know there is a new area in the New Forest where this is happening and warn them about it.”
Anderson Moores confirmed they treated Harley but were unable to save him and were still working on a cure for the deadly toxin.
David Walker, head of medicine, said people should not panic.
He said: “We want people to be aware but it is still small numbers of dogs. The other message is everyone is worried about the New Forest but there have been other cases around the UK and there's no specific area in the New Forest to avoid.”
He added specialists are no closer to discovering the trigger of the disease but are “moving things forward as quickly as possible” to find a way to beat it.
As reported by the Daily Echo, a campaign has been launched to protect dogs, with warning signs erected in car parks in affected areas.
As revealed last May, vets believe the unexplained disease, which causes acute kidney failure, could be a version of Alabama Rot.