Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from mud as deadly Alabama Rot sweeps the UK.
There are fears dogs could contract the devastating disease from mud picked up on their paws and legs during walks.
Owners should wash any mud off their dogs when they return home and watch out for signs of the illness known as CRGV.
The cause of Alabama Rot, or ‘dog’s black death’, is unknown and it affects all breeds.
If it’s not spotted early enough it could lead to potentially fatal kidney failure, with 80 per cent of all cases leading to death as it’s often too late by the time it’s diagnosed.
A number of deaths have been reported in the UK and dog owners have been urged to keep a close watch over their pets.
More than 135 cases have been reported since 2012, but there are fears that 2018 could see a surge in cases due to recent bad weather.
There have been at least 29 deaths this year after a record 37 were reported in 2017.
Alamaba Rot is believed to thrive in cold, wet soil.
The Dogs Trust said: “Where possible, stick to dry paths and keep dogs out of muddy or wet areas.
“Wash off any mud after your walk so you can check for any lesions or wounds and if you spot any, go to your vet.”