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Raising money for Alabama Rot research in memory of Maggie

A heartbroken couple who lost their beloved pet to Alabama Rot are fundraising for research into the disease.

Cathy and Aaron Moss took adorable Cocker Spaniel Maggie, three, for a walk in woodlands and she fell ill a few days later.
The walk wasn’t one of her regular routes.
And in the days that followed, she was quiet and kept licking a sore on her paw.
Cathy was concerned and took her to the vets who carried out blood tests and said they feared it was Alabama Rot.
There have been 102 dogs who have lost their lives to the disease, which causes fatal kidney failure, since 2012.
Research is currently being carried out to find the causes and a potential cure.
She was sent to see specialists at Anderson Moores in Winchester, where experts are painstakingly trying to learn more about the disease.

Only 20{81288282a2c47e5b9f500e2d6ec3c31110a99e9e9549bc5f5bbba4ff1c322354} of dogs in the UK have survived Alabama Rot.

Maggie the cocker spaniel who lost her life to Alabama Rot
Aaron and Maggie
Maggie the cocker spaniel who lost her life to Alabama Rot
Cathy and Maggie

Cathy, 57, a dental nurse, recalled: “It all happened so quickly.
“We went for the walk over the weekend, and noticed she was quieter than usual and had lost interest in her food for a couple of days.
“Then she started licking her back paw and we spotted a sore.
“We took her to the vet on the Thursday who took tests as I was worried it was Alabama Rot.
“They said they couldn’t confirm it and referred her to Anderson Moores.  I knew that Alabama Rot could be fatal but we didn’t think we’d lose her.
“She was admitted to hospital and put on a drip. When we left we knew the prognosis was poor.
“The following morning they told us her kidneys were failing. They could give her fluids though a drip but they couldn’t save her.”
The couple had to make the agonising decision to put her to sleep.
Cathy and her husband Aaron, 40, an electrical wholesaler, now have a new puppy, Nellie.
She is also a Cocker Spaniel, and has helped fill the void left by Maggie in their lives.
Cathy said: “It’s so sad to lose a dog so young.
“I would hate for another dog to have to go through this which is why more research needs to be done into the condition.

“We are absolutely heartbroken to have lost her but want to share her story to help other dogs. 

“Our vet told us there was nothing we could have done to help her, but I just want people to be aware that these cases are becoming more common and to watch out for symptoms.”

Maggie the cocker spaniel who lost her life to Alabama Rot
Adorable Maggie
Maggie the cocker spaniel who lost her life to Alabama Rot
Maggie on a walk

Dr Huw Stacey, Clinical Director at Vets4Pets is working with Anderson Moores in collating data about the disease to aid the research.

They have an interactive map so people can see if there have been cases in their area.
He said: “The first sign that is normally seen is a skin sore that isn’t caused by a known injury.
“Most commonly these sores are found on the lower half of the leg.
“They appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or are open and ulcer-like.

“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores. 

“Such treatment has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering.
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their vet immediately.”
Cathy’s partner Aaron is running the Bournemouth Marathon dressed as Scooby Doo for the Alabama Rot Research Fund.
The campaign aims to raise £240,000 and you can learn more about it on their website here.
To support Aaron, visit his JustGiving page here.

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