Dog owners are being warned about a potentially fatal disease.
Cases of Alabama rot are on the rise in the UK and recently in Northumberland a bloodhound died from the disease.
The first signs are normally skin lesions and sores that have not been caused by an injury.
These sores are most commonly found around the legs and feet and appear as a distinctive swelling and red, open and ulcerated skin.
Once infected, dogs can develop signs of sudden kidney failure which include lethargy, vomiting, reduced hunger and, in some cases, abdominal pain.
Gemma Fowle, Northumberland County Council animal welfare officer, said: “We want to warn dog owners of the dangers of Alabama rot and let them know what symptoms to look out for.
“There is no known cause for Alabama rot and there is no known way to prevent your dog from contracting the disease.
“It is suspected the disease spreads from muddy and wooded areas, therefore it has been suggested that owners should be washing their dogs feet, legs and underbelly straight after a walk.
“If your dog develops any of the clinical symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary advice immediately. It is estimated that treatment is only successful in around 20 to 30 per cent of cases.”
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We want to make everyone aware of the symptoms of Alabama rot and ask dog owners to follow the guidance to help prevent the spread of this awful disease.
“Northumberland County Council’s parks and woodland walks officers will also be erecting signs to advise people of the symptoms of Alabama rot, helping to further raise awareness of this deadly disease.”
Alabama rot was first identified in greyhounds in the state of Alabama in the 1980s.