Dog News!

Alabama Rot - what we can do?

Alabama Rot Image

Dog owners have been warned to avoid walking their pets in muddy areas amid a rise in cases of a disease called Alabama rot.

The condition, which attacks the flesh of dogs was first detected in the UK in 2012 and the number of cases has risen each year.

At least 29 cases have been confirmed this year already, with 40 in 2017 and 19 in 2016.

Alabama rot, is also known as CRBV, a disease caused by damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys, according to Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists.

It causes small blood clots to form in the blood vessels which blocks them, leading the affected tissue to become damaged.

This can lead to ulceration of the skin and severe kidney failure.

The exact cause of the condition is not yet known.

Alabama rot was first discovered in greyhounds in the US in the 1980s, but it can affect all breeds of dog, regardless of age.

What are the symptoms of Alabama rot?

Initial symptoms include skin lesions on the legs, chest and abdomen, in which dogs may develop sore, open wounds.

The infected animal will develop signs of kidney failure and begin to vomit, while also displaying signs of fatigue and a reduced appetite.

What should you do if your dog is unwell?

There is no definitively known way of preventing the disease, but if your dog develops any of the above symptoms it should be taken to a vet straight away.

The vet will determine if the dog needs antibiotics to treat the sores and if the affected area needs to be covered.

There have not been any reported cases of a human contracting the disease from their dog.

Can you prevent Alabama rot?

It is thought that the disease can be picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks, so it is advised to wash off woodland mud and check for signs on your pet.

Vets4pets have a detailed map so you can check your area. 



On 14 March.  the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance will be in Parliament meeting MPs for Dog Theft Awareness Day.  The drop in event is hosted by MP Gareth Johnson.    SAMPA will be telling MPs why their support is vital in tackling the growing crime of dog theft. We need as many MPs to attend as possible, can you help us by asking your MP to join us on the day?

It’s really easy, here’s what to do:

Find your MP, enter your postcode and hit next. Feel free to use the template below, including your experience of dog theft.

 MPs are far more likely to come and find out about dog theft if they are invited by their constituents: your help could go a long way.
Sample email: include your name, address and postcode. If you are the owner of a missing dog please include your story with a poster that your MP can add to the photo call on the day.


Winter Care - How to keep your dogs safe!

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) have issued advice to pet owners on how to keep their best friends safe this winter.

G. Ravetz, president of the BVA said, "Each season brings its own set of hazards, and winter is no different, so we ask owners to make sure their animals are kept safe and warm over the winter months. Simple things, like leaving your dog sitting on the cold ground outside a shop whilst you pop in, can cause them to get excessively cold.  Pets still need their usual exercise through the winter, but be mindful of the temperatures outside, it may be better to go outside more regularly for less time than be outside for a long time on one walk."

Other tips include:

  1. Make sure your pet's bed is in a warm, draught-free spot and is raised off the floor.
  2. Older dogs or those with thin fur, should wear a dog coat when temperatures drop.
  3. During the darker winter months, try to walk your dog before night falls (if you can). If that is not possible, use a reflective lead, collar or dog coat and carry a torch so that other road users can see you.
  4. Wipe your dog's paws and belly on returning home from a snowy or wet walk to remove any ice, salt or dirt, and check regularly for cracks in the paw pads or redness between the toes. Wiping paws can also prevent pets from ingesting toxins they may have stood in - de-icer and antifreeze are highly toxic.
  5. When walking in icy and snowy conditions, don't let you dog off the lead and avoid areas where ponds or lakes have frozen over - animals don't understand the different between solid ground and ice and can fall through. If the worst happens and a dog falls through, don't go in after your pet. Although it's distressing, it's never worth risking your own life as well as your dogs.
  6. Don't bathe your dog too often in winter, unless he's rolled in something unbearable! If you do, use warm water and make sure he's dried thoroughly afterwards to prevent him getting cold and becoming ill.
  7. Be aware that the cold can worsen some conditions, such as arthritis. if you've not had your animal checked with your vet, this is a good time to schedule a visit.
  8. Take care over Winter and enjoy the snow.


Christmas & Dogs - How to keep them safe.

Christmas is a very exciting time for humans but can be a source of anxiety for dogs. Research shows there is a 20% increase to Veterinaries during Christmas and New Year compared with other holidays.  As we know dogs are very inquisitive creatures, so keeping decorations and baubles out of reach is a must. The dazzle of decorations attracts many pets and they may be tempted to chew through electric cables attached to Christmas Lights and glass tree baubles can cause paw injuries. Make sure wires are tucked away using cable hideaways or appropriate tape and all decorations should be firmly placed on the tree. 

Christmas Chocolates on the tree look great but remember these are toxic to dogs, same with nuts and raisins as they can be accessed easily from a coffee table display.

Plants and flowers like Mistletoe, Ivy, Holly & Pointsetta's can be toxic, so pop them somewhere high up or don't have them at all. 

Have a safe Christmas everyone! 

Dogs and Fireworks: Dealing with Anxiety

Dogs and fireworks © Tom Harris

Remember, remember dog safety in November.

Kennel Club warns dog owners to keep their pets safe and happy as ‘firework season’ approaches.

As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, the Kennel Club is warning dog owners about how traumatic this time of year can be for dogs and other pets.

In the run up to Halloween and 5th November, two of the noisiest times of year, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners across the country not to ignore their four-legged friends. Halloween costumes and the loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can be exciting for humans but very frightening for dogs, and owners will need to plan ahead to keep their dog safe and avoid negative incidents, such as a dog running away or acting aggressively out of fear.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Dogs can react very badly to the unfamiliar sights and sounds that are common around Halloween and Bonfire Night.

“Fireworks, people in costumes knocking on the door, flashes of light and other things that dogs would not normally experience can be terrifying for dogs and could result in them behaving unpredictably which could put their safety, or the safety of people, at risk.

“In the run up to Bonfire Night, try playing a sound CD with firework noises or firework sound videos on Youtube at a low level to let your dog get used to the sound in the background. On Bonfire Night itself, it’s best to close the curtains and turn the television or radio up and try to behave as normally as possible to encourage your dog to do the same.

“It’s also important to remember that Halloween can be a very frightening time for dogs too. We would advise dog owners to walk their dog before trick or treaters start their rounds and keep a firm grip on the lead as many dogs are frightened by people in costumes and could potentially react aggressively through fear.

“Speaking to a dog behaviourist in your area about any potential behavioural issues that may arise around this time of year is recommended, as they are experts in the field and can offer invaluable advice which will help to safeguard the health and happiness of your dog. People can visit the Kennel Club website to find one of these in their area and can contact them ahead of time to make sure their dog’s experience of Halloween and Bonfire Night is as positive as possible.”

The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress:


  • Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner.
  • Seek help from an experienced animal behaviourist. If your pet is severely noise phobic, sound CDs may make the situation worse. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour.
  • Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
  • Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
  • Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with dog treats or playing with toys of interest.
  • Check where and when firework displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
  • Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication before giving remedies to help him cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
  • Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
  • Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping.
  • Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
  • Your dog might choose to hide under the bed; if he or she comes to you for comfort, make sure that you give it to him/her. Ignoring your dog would only make things worse as he or she wouldn’t understand your withdrawal from them.
  • Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure your dog is microchipped too, as if he or she does escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible and is a legal requirement.


    • Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
    • Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off. 
    • Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
    • Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
    • Try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
    • Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
    • Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
    • Try and tempt him out if he does retreat, as this may cause more stress.
    • Tell your dog off. This will only make your pet more distressed. It is important to remember that it is natural for a dog to be scared of loud noises and unfamiliar sights and sounds.


    National Dog Day - 26th August

    Raising awareness of the dangers of hot cars - 14 July 2016.

    The RSPCA receives thousands of reports of dogs suffering from heat exposure every year - that equates to one call every hour. In 2015, the RSPCA received 8,779 calls to report incidents of dogs suffering from heat exposure - more than 3,000 more than in 2010.

    Dogs Die in Hot Cars It’s important to remember not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside. For example, when it’s 22C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47C inside a vehicle, which can result in death. This can take 20-30 minutes!!!!!!


    Beware Toxic Algae - Lake Deaths 29 June 2016.

    The presence of blue-green algae has been confirmed in Brooklands Lake, Dartford, Kent after 3 dogs died and 7 others fell severely ill after paddling in the water on the 17 May.  Authorities have advised owners not to let their dogs near the lake until the algae's presence has dropped to non-harmful levels. Rachel Lowe from the PDSA said "Blue-green algae can cause rapid death if ingested. It's found in fresh, brackish and marine water in the UK. It may form massive growths or blooms, especially in late spring, summer and early autumn."

    Symptoms in dogs include severe vomiting and diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, coma and fits. If you are worried that your pet may have ingested blue-green algae, its essential you call your vet immediately.  "Avoid water in particular that has a green-scum layer on top - this is more likely to contain the deadly blue-green algae," Rachel said.  "We'd recommend it's always best to err on the side of caution, and avoid letting your dog in or near any water that has visible algae on the surface, as it can be impossible to just tell at a glance whether it's poisonous or not".



    Summertime is a time for fun and frolicking but it’s also fraught with danger for our pets. When the temperature rises, we need to take extra caution to make sure our pets are okay in the heat. Here are some key tips to help keep your pet cool and safe.

    Don’t leave your pet alone in the car on a warm day

    Despite the warnings, every year, pets die after their owners leave them in a parked car that overheats. Within just a few minutes, a car can get extremely shot, stifling, and deadly. Dr. Ernie Ward did an experiment on a warm summer’s day in which he sat in a parked car with the windows cracked. He wanted to see just how hot it would get. Within 30 minutes it was 117 degrees inside the car. “Never, ever leave your dog in a parked car on a warm day,” he pleads at the end of the video he made to document his experience. That goes for any pet, by the way!

    Be Vigilant About Vet Care

    When it starts getting warm outside, take your dog or cat to the vet for a full check up. The check up should include a heartworm test and a flea and tick protection plan. These are year-round issues but in the summer months, with much more outdoors time, it’s especially important to monitor them.

    Avoid Walking Your Dog In the Heat

    Aim for mornings and evenings when letting your dog outside. Sometimes, though, it’s just hot all day long and Dr. Becker says, “Even in the coolest part of the day, watch for signs of trouble: Glassy eyes and frantic panting indicate a dog who needs help. Get to a veterinarian immediately if you see these symptoms!”

    Keep Your Home Cool for your pets

    When the temperature outside gets hot, it can be harder to keep the indoors cool. Some people turn their air conditioning off when they leave for the day. If you have a pet at home, this could put him in danger. A article, “Summer Hazards and Your Dog,” advises: “Instead of turning off the air conditioner, try leaving it on a conservative but comfortable setting (perhaps 76°F) while you are out.” The article recommends you make sure your pet has water and, “consider closing curtains to reduce the heating effects of sunlight through the windows.”

    Give Your Pets Access to Shade and Plenty of Water

    Pets can get dehydrated or get heatstroke quickly so any pet outside needs to have plenty of water and access to shade.

    Know Which Dogs Are Less Tolerant of Heat

    Dr. Becker reminds us that some dog breeds are less tolerant of the heat than others. “Remember that older, obese or short-nosed dogs (Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Boxers, Shih Tzu’s and French Bulldogs) are less tolerant of heat.”  Also, older dogs, puppies and dogs with health issues can also be more susceptible to hot weather. Of course, you should keep a close eye on your dog in the heat, no matter what his breed, age or state of health.

    Our pets rely on us to protect them and keep them comfortable and safe year round! Remember, if you’re hot, your pets are definitely hot.


    Pet Passports

    Planning ahead and thinking of taking your dog or cat abroad with you this summer?

    Following changes made to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) means holidaying with the WHOLE family has never been easier!

    In order to avoid quarantine for your pets this year all you need to do is follow 3 simple steps:

    1.      Microchip your pet 

    2.      Vaccinate your pet against Rabies (£60) approx.

    3.      Collect your PETS passport, which will be issued and signed by your vet (£46) approx.

    You are then free to take your pet abroad, to certain countries, just 21 days after receiving the rabies vaccine.  Whilst it is no longer mandatory to apply a tick treatment prior to returning to the UK (although still advisable), your pet still MUST be treated, by a vet, for tapeworm 1-5 days prior to returning to the UK.  This must also be recorded in the PETS passport in order to re-enter the UK.

    For more information call the -Pet Travel Helpline: 0870 241 1710 or visit the

    DEFRA Website:



    From 6 April 2016, breeders in England, Scotland and Wales must ensure puppies are microchipped and registered with an approved microchip database by the time the puppies are 8 weeks old (prior to going to the new owner).

    What does this mean for you?

    • Dogs must be recorded on a database in the name of the keeper – this is defined as the person with whom the dog normally resides.
    • DEFRA recognise that some welfare organisations record themselves as the ‘owner/keeper’. However, if the dog has been rehomed, they expect the record to be updated to the person with whom the dog normally resides.

    If you microchip using a Petlog chip? Why not join Find an Implanter