Vets have confirmed that a dog in the Battle area did die from Alabama Rot.
Alabama Rot, or Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is a new condition in dogs that was first recognised in the UK in 2012.
Dogs which contract the disease can suffer serious skin lesions and kidney damage. It is often fatal.
The cause of CRGV is not yet known, but there is a possible link with walking dogs in woodland.
Initially it was feared the two-year-old spaniel had picked up the disease while on a walk in Battle Great Wood.
But Senlac Veterinary Centre, which treated the animal before it passed away in January, stressed the link had not been proven.
The centre, which is based in Battle, confirmed the diagnosis on its Facebook page.
The centre said: “We understand the anxiety and concern which has followed the report of a suspected case of CRGV in this area.
“CRGV is a serious, frequently fatal condition of dogs of which the cause is unknown.
“Because the cause is unknown there is no reliable advice on how to prevent or reduce the incidence of this disease.
“Many cases have occurred in dogs which were walked frequently in woodland.
“This link with woodland is being investigated but is, as yet, unproven.
“The owner of the recently affected dog has consented to us sharing the following information about her two-year-old spaniel that died in mid-January.
“In the last few days the pathology report has confirmed that the findings were consistent with CRGV.
“The dog was not frequently walked in the woods. In the previous two month period the dog had been walked only once in Battle Great Wood and had been washed with tap-water when it returned home.
“The majority of its exercise was pavement walks and exercise in the garden.
“No other woodland had been visited in the previous two month period.
“Whilst not wanting to discount the possible risk of walking dogs in woodland, we would remind people that the link is not proven.
“Washing dogs after a woodland walk is probably sensible for many reasons.
“We, of course, hope that the cause of CRGV will be found soon and that effective prevention will be possible.
“In the meantime, any dog with suspicious skin symptoms (ulcers or sore spots on feet, legs, mouth, face or belly) should be seen promptly by a vet.”
Two other dogs have died from confirmed Alabama Rot in Sussex in the last few days - one in Littlehampton and one in Angmering.
For more information about Alabama Rot, please visit www.alabamarot.co.uk
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