It is important to note that this problem has only affected a small number of dogs.
In affected dogs, the skin lesions seen were typically one to four centimetres in length and were sometimes pre-dated by a focal swelling. They have generally, but not exclusively, been below the knee or elbow and have typically had the appearance of an erosion or ulcer. The affected dogs went on to develop clinical signs of acute kidney injury over the subsequent two to seven days. It is possible that the damage is caused by a bacterial toxin, but no-one knows what the cause is at this stage.
BVA President and vet Robin Hargreaves said: “Dog owners in these regions will feel understandably anxious about the recent cases but it seems that only a very small proportion of the dogs walked in these areas each day have been affected. Owners should make sure they are aware of the signs and symptoms and contact their vet immediately if they have any concerns.
It would be advisable to avoid walking your dog in muddy areas, especially after recent rainfall. Washing your dogs legs thoroughly after a muddy walk would also be sensible.
We will keep you updated as soon as more news is available.