A dog in Ivybridge has died after suffering from Alabama Rot.

Southmoor Vets’ tended to the animal in May after its owners noticed signs of illness.

It is one of the latest cases of the "extremely rare" and potentially life-threatening disease to be confirmed in the UK this year.

Lilly Cross, of Southmoor Vets, was part of the team that treated the dog.

“He came in with lameness and deteriorated quite quickly, and we kept him in from that point on,” she said.

The dog was treated for acute kidney failure, but he did not survive.

She said: “As happens in most cases with kidney injury, he unfortunately passed away.”

Vets say the disease is hard to spot, and can only be definitively diagnosed in a post-mortem exam after the dog has already died.

Symptoms of Alabama Rot include skin lesions, sores or ulcers on your dog’s legs, paws or face.

Lilly added: “Though we may suspect a case after seeing unusual skin lesions, in 99% of cases, it turns out to be something else.

“There have been cases with skin lesions alone that have recovered without developing kidney problems.”

Speaking about how common the condition is, she said: “It’s very nasty, and people are understandably worried, but cases are still rare.

“If we do suspect Alabama Rot, we can take blood tests and treat the resultant kidney failure.

“Most other skin sores and wounds, however, do not need lots of expensive testing which is costly to our clients, so tests must be used appropriately.”

She also explained that the condition is not contagious.

Lilly continued: “The owners’ other dog, who was walked in the same area, is absolutely fine.”

Speaking of the risk, she urged owners not to change their behaviour.

“There is no need to stop taking your dog for a walk,” she said.

“Just take your dog to a vet if you see the signs.”

There have been 189 confirmed cases in the UK since 2012, and 14 so far in 2019.

More than 90% of cases are seen between November and May.

For more on this story, see this Friday’s paper.