THE owner of a dog struck down with the area’s first suspected case of Alabama rot says he is delighted that she is finally recovering.
Flake, a three-year-old chocolate Labrador, fell ill with what is believed to be the killer dog disease, last week.
She was rushed to Anderson Moores – a veterinary surgery specialising in treating the disease – and, although her condition appeared to improve, she took a turn for the worse earlier this week and was rushed back in after she began to vomit green bile.
Only 10 per cent of dogs survive Alabama rot. So it shows she is a very special dog, she’s my baby.Luke Orrell
Owner Luke Orrell, of North End Avenue, Portsmouth, feared the worst.
Alabama rot is so devastating that nine out of 10 dogs that contract it die.
It causes lesions on the skin and in most cases leads to kidney failure.
But Flake has rallied and should be signed off from the surgery on Friday.
Mr Orrell, a 26-year-old teacher, said: ‘She’s not quite out of the woods yet but she’s certainly looking better.
‘The situation is that I was able to take Flake home but we’re going back every day for blood tests.
‘Hopefully, depending on how the blood tests go, she should be able to be signed off on Friday.
‘The vet thinks the green bile was just an upset tummy – but it was very worrying.
‘I’m just so relieved. So far she has not shown any signs of kidney failure – that’s what the blood tests are for. We hope it stays that way.
‘Only 10 per cent of dogs survive Alabama rot. So it shows she is a very special dog, she’s my baby.’
The only way vets can be 100 per cent sure an animal had the disease is testing after death.
Mr Orrell walks Flake in the Foxes Forest area.
It is not know how it is caught but there have been clusters of cases in densely wooded areas, such as the New Forest.
In the past owners have been advised to clean dogs’ legs thoroughly after muddy walks but it is now believed it may be ingested.