WARNING: This story contains graphic images as vets want dog owners to see the symptoms of the disease.

Dog owners in Bucks are being urged to be vigilant after five more cases of a deadly disease have been confirmed across the south east.

Experts at an animal hospital have identified new cases of the potentially-fatal Alabama Rot in Longwick.

New cases were also found in Reading, Wimbledon and Richmond.

Also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), the disease, which originally appeared in the late 1980s, was first detected in the UK in 2012. It affects the kidneys and has a 90 per cent mortality rate.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester has been leading research into the devastating disease since it was found in the UK, and is collating information on all cases and reports of confirmed cases across the country.

It revealed that, in total, the UK has now seen 268 confirmed cases, including 17 since the start of the year.

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David Walker, who heads the team at Anderson Moores and is regarded as the UK’s foremost authority on the disease, said: “Sadly, we find ourselves at the time of year when cases are most commonly identified. It is understandably a worrying time for dog owners with regard to CRGV; however, the disease remains rare.

Bucks Free Press: PICTURED: An example of Alabama RotPICTURED: An example of Alabama Rot

“The disease seems to appear across many counties at this time of year. January and February are typically our highest case number months and, sadly, this year is no different.

“We’re advising dog owners across the country to remain calm but vigilant and seek advice from their local vets if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.

“If a dog becomes affected by CRGV, the best chance of recovery probably lies with early and intensive veterinary care.

“Treatment primarily revolves around intensive management of the acute kidney injury and is sadly only successful in around 10 per cent of cases.”

He added: “However, the team here at Anderson Moores successfully treated a suspected case of CRGV in a Labrador Retriever. Molly was referred to our internal medicine team due to limb swelling and a deep, painful ulcerative lesion on one of her legs.

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“Following four days’ intensive treatment, her condition started to improve and we began to cautiously hope she would survive the disease.

Bucks Free Press:

“Molly continued to slowly improve and, after two nerve-wracking weeks, she was discharged to continue her recovery at home.

“Recovery for patients such as Molly is often prolonged but she has continued to do well.

“Sadly, stories such as Molly’s are relatively rare, with CRGV remaining a devastating disease, without a known cause or treatment. The disease has taken away many beloved dogs from their families.”