DOG owners are being warned not to walk their pets in wooded areas after an outbreak of Alabama Rot was confirmed in Leigh.
Vets from across the borough met with Wigan Council on Monday night to discuss the matter following confirmation that at least two dogs have died after contracting the mysterious but deadly disease, for which there is no cure.
Several other suspected cases of the disease are currently being investigated.
A seven-month old puppy from Culcheth is among a number of other dogs whose owners believe died from the disease, but this has not yet been confirmed.
A Wigan Council spokesman said: “The council's role in relation to this issue is to provide confirmed information and pointers to further advice. We are in communication with vets both locally and nationally. So far we have been made aware of two confirmed cases in the Leigh area.”
Exactly where the confirmed cases are thought to have contracted the deadly disease is unclear but suspected cases have been reported from Pennington Flash and Lilford Woods and Wigan Vets4Pets has warned dog owners to stay away from the Lilford Park area on its Facebook page.
Little is known about the cause of the disease but dog owners have been warned to stay away from wooded areas and to wash their pets and shoes down after a walk.
However, the council has stressed that only few dogs have been affected so far and that the disease does not seem to pass from dog to dog.
A residents’ meeting has also been held to discuss the outbreak.
Tyldesley resident Gary Hallows suspects that his cocker spaniel Sally died after contracting the disease in the Squires Lane area of Tyldesley.
“I have seen a sign up near where I used to walk my dogs to warn people but I don’t know if there are anymore as I don’t want to walk down there,” Mr Hallows said.
Lloyd Davies, veterinary surgeon at MyPetsVets in Leigh said: “I believe there have now been three confirmed cases and we have treated several others that we suspect may be related.
“It is very hard to give specific advice because so little is known about the disease but the cases we have seen do seem to have been related to Lilford Park, but I am hesitant to say don’t walk your dogs there at all.”
- For more information and advice about Alabama Rot visit the council’s website at http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Environmental-Problems/Dogs/Alabama-Rot---What-you-need-to-know.aspx.