Rhondda AM Leanne Wood has raised her concerns over a fatal dog disease which has been found in her constituency.
Ms Wood called upon the Welsh Government to issue guidance to pet owners after a dog was brought into a veterinary practice in Tonypandy with Alabama Rot. The dog, which had been walking in nearby woodlands, was one of many that have died in Wales this year after being found with the disease.
Alabama Rot is a dog disease of unknown cause that can affect all breeds, sizes and ages. If it is not spotted early enough, it can lead to sudden and potentially fatal kidney failure.
During questions to Leslie Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Leanne Wood AM said: “One of the recent cases of Alabama rot, a fatal disease found in dogs, was reported at a veterinary practice in my constituency after walking in a woods near to my home town of Penygraig.
“A dog was taken to Tonypandy practice of Treforest Veterinary Clinic with the ulcers that are associated with Alabama rot, and the dog, like so many that get this disease, died. Given that scientists don't know what causes this disease, they don't know how to treat it, and many dog owners are worried about the disease and the spate of cases reported recently.
“Can you give any advice to those dog owners in the Rhondda and beyond about what they can do to minimise the risk of their pets catching Alabama rot? And can you confirm that the Government is actively engaged in combating this disease?”
In reply, Ms Griffiths AM said: “I had a discussion with the chief veterinary officer around Alabama rot this morning. As I say, it's not the responsibility of the Welsh Government, but obviously we are very keen to learn from the research that is ongoing.”
She added: “The chief veterinary officer said that it can be caused more in wet marshy areas, and it's really important in the winter that, if you walk your dog in wet marshy areas, you dry them off after.”