The cause is unknown. The disease is rare and very little is known about it.
Does it affect any particular breed of dog?
No – it can affect any breed.
Can it affect humans or other animals?
No – it is not a threat to humans and there’s no evidence it affects other animals.
How does it spread?
We don’t know. It does not seem to be passed from dog to dog, and appears to be associated with dogs that have been walked in wooded areas.
What should I look out for?
Dogs reported with the disease can suffer kidney failure and/or skin lesions. If you notice a wound, lesion or blister on your dog’s leg or face, seek advice from your vet.
This could be hard to spot but you may notice your dog licking itself more than usual. Most lesions will not be caused by this condition, though.
It attacks the kidneys so look out for signs of kidney failure, such as if your dog starts vomiting or stops eating. If you have any concerns, contact your vet.
Is there anything I can do to help prevent it?
Keep your dog under close control in woodland areas and be aware of anything they might eat, chew or pick up. It may be worth cleaning your dog thoroughly following a walk.
How worried should I be?
It’s important to keep this outbreak in context. Hundreds of dogs are walked around Lichfield District every day and come to no harm. However, it’s really important dog owners are vigilant and if they have any concerns to contact their vet.
What is the council doing about it?
The council has no powers or responsibilities in this kind of outbreak.
Where can I find out more?
Forestry Commision (external link)