Density map of Alabama Rot

The Sunday Times illustrated the 200 confirmed cases of Alabama Rot with this density map:

Source: Sunday Times, 30/12/18 https://goo.gl/whHFuf

“Many of the infected dogs had been walked in muddy fields and woodlands,” said Fiona Macdonald, a New Forest vet who is investigating the outbreaks.

The Times says:

The symptoms of Alabama rot are similar to a disease seen in US greyhounds, but there is no evidence that it has the same cause. Some vets have argued that it should be renamed New Forest disease in the UK.

One theory [hypothesis] links the disease to a virus originating in the American terrapins imported as pets in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze of the 1990s but released when they grew to the size of dinner plates.

Google Trends for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle  @ 4/1/19

Another idea is that it is caused by bacteria found in amphibians that suffer symptoms similar to those seen in dogs.

Whatever the cause, the impact can be devastating.

Macdonald said:

“the disease had the potential to spread across the UK. Walking dogs on muddy ground seems to be the common factor. Owners who have been in such areas should hose their dogs down with cold water after every such walk. They won’t like it, but it might save them.”