Our beloved dog Malmsey is walked on a daily basis in the New Forest which is on our doorstep- we are also fortunate to have the sea at the end of our road too and whilst she enjoys coastal walks, her favourite venue is the forest.
However, at present there is fear and worry in all dog owners’ hearts- since the middle of 2013 and through to date, there have been at least twenty dog deaths due to an unknown disease, although it is suspected to be “Alabama Rot”, which seems to be effecting dogs and causing their untimely deaths. It is a horrible feeling to take your dog for a walk in the forest but not be sure that the area you have chosen is safe… in fact day by day there seems to be more and more areas that are reporting a problem, so the “safe” areas are slowly shrinking and the choice of walks is diminishing.
But keeping it in perspective, there are hundreds of dogs walked in the forest on a daily basis and the New Forest is not the only effected area- the disease and its source is being investigated by a fantastic veterinary practice, Anderson Moores who treated Malmsey when she had the problem with her face when she was a pup and I cannot speak highly enough of Davinia, her partners and their team.
Thus we are still walking Malmsey in the forest but are also checking her paws, legs and face on a three times daily basis for any skin lesions, ulcerated areas or general areas of concern just in case… however I’m sure that all dog owner will rest easy when they have found the source, a solution and treatment and no more dogs have to die untimely.
Our sincerest wishes to those who have lost their beloved dogs- our hearts go out to you all.
Till next time
Nx and Mx