Dog dies after suspected case of Alabama Rot poisoning at St Catherine’s Hill in Christchurch

TOXIN FEARS: St Catherine’s Hill woods near Christchurch

TOXIN FEARS: St Catherine’s Hill woods near Christchurch

First published in News
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A HEARTBROKEN pet owner has lost a dog to the latest suspected case of a killer toxin.

Five-year-old flat coated retriever Erin – who was only ever walked at St Catherine’s Hill in Christchurch – was put to sleep after suffering acute kidney failure.

Her death is feared to be the latest case of Alabama Rot – the condition which has been linked to the deaths of 12 dogs in the New Forest since December 2012 and seven elsewhere in the country.

A further five deaths are suspected to have also been caused by the illness.

Owner Tracy Graham noticed a sore on Erin’s foot on Sunday, February 2 and took her to a PDSA emergency vet, where a blood test showed no sign of problems.

The following Friday, a still poorly Erin was sedated and re-tested at her own vet’s clinic.

She was then sent to specialist Anderson Moores, of Hursley near Winchester, suffering from acute kidney failure.

She was put down yesterday after being taken to London by her owner for dialysis.

Tracy urged other pet owners to watch for the symptoms.

“Look for sores on legs, feet or the face. If there are any, contact the vet straight away – it can mean life or death,” she said.

David Walker, head of medicine at Anderson Moores, said the clinic was awaiting the results of pathology tests.

“All we can say at the moment is that Erin had lesions between the toes on her paw. She had sudden onset kidney failure. That truly is as much as we can know at the moment,” he said.

He stressed suspected cases of Alabama Rot were very rare but urged people to watch out for unusual skin lesions.

“If you do see a skin lesion and you don’t know what the cause is, pop down to your local vet,” he said.

Christchurch council said Erin’s was the only reported case of a dog being taken ill after walking at St Catherine’s Hill. It urged people to check any unusual skin lesions.

Research fund for pet fatalities

A GROUP of dog lovers has set up a fund to promote further investigations into the spate of dog deaths from kidney failure.

New Forest Dog Owners Group (NFDOG) started the fund with a £2,000 donation.

Research has been aided by New Forest District Council, the Forestry Commission, Bridge Pathology and Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, who are leading the investigation.

Interested scientists have also done a ‘large amount of work’ on a goodwill basis.

Heather Gould, chairman of NFDOG, said: “We want to get this off the ground quickly and do something to show we care about the problem and the very worried dog owners, not just in the New Forest, but around a number of areas in England.”

Kate Hurcombe, who put the idea forward to the committee, said: “We just have to do something, and if every dog walker in the forest gave a small donation we would be off to a flying start.”

David Walker from Anderson Moores said: “We are incredibly grateful to NFDOG for all they have been doing to raise awareness of this disease. This fund will greatly help us in trying to identify the underlying cause.”

Donations can be made online at newforestdog.org.uk or by sending a cheque payable to NFDOG Research Fund, to Hon Treasurer, Woodcote, Balmer Lawn Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7TT.

Comments (17)

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6:27am Tue 11 Feb 14

BIGTONE says...

Very weird that this problem has just raised its head in the past 18 months particularly in wooded/gorse areas.
It looks like they are struggling to pin it down.
Hopefully all this rain will wash it away.
Very weird that this problem has just raised its head in the past 18 months particularly in wooded/gorse areas. It looks like they are struggling to pin it down. Hopefully all this rain will wash it away. BIGTONE
  • Score: 22

9:29am Tue 11 Feb 14

Por Speller says...

Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph. Por Speller
  • Score: -31

10:09am Tue 11 Feb 14

new2it says...

Por Speller wrote:
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.
[quote][p][bold]Por Speller[/bold] wrote: Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.[/p][/quote]So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this. new2it
  • Score: 18

10:14am Tue 11 Feb 14

RM says...

So sorry to hear about this latest death. RIP Erin & thinking of you Tracy. As an NFDog member I'm really pleased to hear about the Research Fund & hope it discovers the cause & the original source of the toxin . When the deaths were confined to the Forest & generally during the winter season I did wonder if the toxin was something that Porton Down staff had been testing there during WW II that was being brought to the surface again by the winter rains. There were a lot of Army & other forces activities in the Forest during the war.
So sorry to hear about this latest death. RIP Erin & thinking of you Tracy. As an NFDog member I'm really pleased to hear about the Research Fund & hope it discovers the cause & the original source of the toxin . When the deaths were confined to the Forest & generally during the winter season I did wonder if the toxin was something that Porton Down staff had been testing there during WW II that was being brought to the surface again by the winter rains. There were a lot of Army & other forces activities in the Forest during the war. RM
  • Score: 10

1:30pm Tue 11 Feb 14

clarease says...

new2it wrote:
Por Speller wrote:
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.
It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer.
[quote][p][bold]new2it[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Por Speller[/bold] wrote: Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.[/p][/quote]So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.[/p][/quote]It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer. clarease
  • Score: 11

3:46pm Tue 11 Feb 14

John T says...

new2it wrote:
Por Speller wrote:
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.
Yes, it was only the Echo's Chief Reporter who filed this.
It would have been a right dog's dinner if the challenge had been given to one of their junior reporters.
[quote][p][bold]new2it[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Por Speller[/bold] wrote: Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.[/p][/quote]So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.[/p][/quote]Yes, it was only the Echo's Chief Reporter who filed this. It would have been a right dog's dinner if the challenge had been given to one of their junior reporters. John T
  • Score: -7

4:19pm Tue 11 Feb 14

60plus says...

Very sad for the pet and owners it's looks just like our dog,
Very sad for the pet and owners it's looks just like our dog, 60plus
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Squars says...

clarease wrote:
new2it wrote:
Por Speller wrote:
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.
It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer.
The point is accuracy. If they can`t get a small fact correct, do you trust `em to get the big ones right?
[quote][p][bold]clarease[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]new2it[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Por Speller[/bold] wrote: Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.[/p][/quote]So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.[/p][/quote]It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer.[/p][/quote]The point is accuracy. If they can`t get a small fact correct, do you trust `em to get the big ones right? Squars
  • Score: -1

6:49pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Squars says...

clarease wrote:
new2it wrote:
Por Speller wrote:
Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.
So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.
It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer.
The point is accuracy. If they can`t get a small fact correct, do you trust `em to get the big ones right?
[quote][p][bold]clarease[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]new2it[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Por Speller[/bold] wrote: Sloppy journalism- the dog's name changes after the second paragraph.[/p][/quote]So What? How much does that matter in this instance? Very sad for the owner to lose a loved pet like this.[/p][/quote]It annoys me so much how pathetic people are to seek out and comment on mistakes made by journalist....what is the point!!! I feel for the poor owners of this dog and I pray that my little pooch is not going to contract this horrible killer.[/p][/quote]The point is accuracy. If they can`t get a small fact correct, do you trust `em to get the big ones right? Squars
  • Score: -1

10:02pm Tue 11 Feb 14

xena dion says...

I am so sorry for the dog and owner. I think my dog had the same, but being massive (male akita) maybe he dealt with it. We were in Badbury Rings area and his whole face swelled up and had open sores all over his muzzle and face. Just took him to the vet and started on antibiotics then he started bleeding from his urethera. Urine sample showed loads of blood but no infection. More and different antibiotics but he did get better and the bleeding stopped as his face improved. Overall 2 weeks of treatment. HUGE warnings to dog owners. What is this horrible thing....
I am so sorry for the dog and owner. I think my dog had the same, but being massive (male akita) maybe he dealt with it. We were in Badbury Rings area and his whole face swelled up and had open sores all over his muzzle and face. Just took him to the vet and started on antibiotics then he started bleeding from his urethera. Urine sample showed loads of blood but no infection. More and different antibiotics but he did get better and the bleeding stopped as his face improved. Overall 2 weeks of treatment. HUGE warnings to dog owners. What is this horrible thing.... xena dion
  • Score: 3

10:46pm Tue 11 Feb 14

canfordcherry says...

BIGTONE wrote:
Very weird that this problem has just raised its head in the past 18 months particularly in wooded/gorse areas.
It looks like they are struggling to pin it down.
Hopefully all this rain will wash it away.
The rain is probably making the problem worse in some way.
[quote][p][bold]BIGTONE[/bold] wrote: Very weird that this problem has just raised its head in the past 18 months particularly in wooded/gorse areas. It looks like they are struggling to pin it down. Hopefully all this rain will wash it away.[/p][/quote]The rain is probably making the problem worse in some way. canfordcherry
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Tue 11 Feb 14

whatever01 says...

Courting controversy, i know, but i wonder how many people pick up their dogs poop in the woods, or leave it just because no one is about? Surely that's a toxin also?
Courting controversy, i know, but i wonder how many people pick up their dogs poop in the woods, or leave it just because no one is about? Surely that's a toxin also? whatever01
  • Score: 1

7:57pm Wed 12 Feb 14

camvalley says...

My condolences to the owners of these poor dogs . I had a labrador cross in the 80's I used to walk him in the forest he came down not well ,very lathargic took him to the vets he had kidney failure all the vet could suggest was that he could have got it from sheep ,only speculative ,as the vet didn't know so just thought I would post it Regards
My condolences to the owners of these poor dogs . I had a labrador cross in the 80's I used to walk him in the forest he came down not well ,very lathargic took him to the vets he had kidney failure all the vet could suggest was that he could have got it from sheep ,only speculative ,as the vet didn't know so just thought I would post it Regards camvalley
  • Score: 1

8:30pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Turtlebay says...

Just a thought, could this disease be a result of bites by False Widow spiders? There were numerous sightings in and around Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch in the early autumn of 2013 and I saw many of them myself.
Dogs out walking might step on the spiders who would attack, bite and inject their poison into the dogs.
Just a thought, could this disease be a result of bites by False Widow spiders? There were numerous sightings in and around Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch in the early autumn of 2013 and I saw many of them myself. Dogs out walking might step on the spiders who would attack, bite and inject their poison into the dogs. Turtlebay
  • Score: -1

11:32pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Dazed88 says...

I would please ask everyone to be extra vigilant. We've walked our dog there once in the last few weeks, and he is now in renal failure after getting this. We're hoping he can pull through, but at the moment, it's not looking good. He had been off his good a bit & keeping weight off one of his legs, but we didn't for a minute think it'd lead to this.
I would please ask everyone to be extra vigilant. We've walked our dog there once in the last few weeks, and he is now in renal failure after getting this. We're hoping he can pull through, but at the moment, it's not looking good. He had been off his good a bit & keeping weight off one of his legs, but we didn't for a minute think it'd lead to this. Dazed88
  • Score: 0

8:09am Thu 20 Feb 14

crabsallover says...

xena dion wrote:
I am so sorry for the dog and owner. I think my dog had the same, but being massive (male akita) maybe he dealt with it. We were in Badbury Rings area and his whole face swelled up and had open sores all over his muzzle and face. Just took him to the vet and started on antibiotics then he started bleeding from his urethera. Urine sample showed loads of blood but no infection. More and different antibiotics but he did get better and the bleeding stopped as his face improved. Overall 2 weeks of treatment. HUGE warnings to dog owners. What is this horrible thing....
Did your vet confirm it was Alabama Rot? If so, did your vet report the case to Anderson Moores vets in Winchester?
[quote][p][bold]xena dion[/bold] wrote: I am so sorry for the dog and owner. I think my dog had the same, but being massive (male akita) maybe he dealt with it. We were in Badbury Rings area and his whole face swelled up and had open sores all over his muzzle and face. Just took him to the vet and started on antibiotics then he started bleeding from his urethera. Urine sample showed loads of blood but no infection. More and different antibiotics but he did get better and the bleeding stopped as his face improved. Overall 2 weeks of treatment. HUGE warnings to dog owners. What is this horrible thing....[/p][/quote]Did your vet confirm it was Alabama Rot? If so, did your vet report the case to Anderson Moores vets in Winchester? crabsallover
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Tracy Graham says...

I Am am Erin`s Owner and she was confirmed to have the Alabama Rot this morning, She was treated and confirmed to have it at the Anderson Moores Vets. We never got to take her to London as on our way to collect her from Anderson Moores vets to go to London, she deteriorated very quickly and we had her put to sleep when we arrived at Anderson Moores vets.
I Am am Erin`s Owner and she was confirmed to have the Alabama Rot this morning, She was treated and confirmed to have it at the Anderson Moores Vets. We never got to take her to London as on our way to collect her from Anderson Moores vets to go to London, she deteriorated very quickly and we had her put to sleep when we arrived at Anderson Moores vets. Tracy Graham
  • Score: 0

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