Lancashire dog owners have been warned to take precautions after outbreaks of a fatal animal disease.
Figures from the Vets4Pets organisation say there have been 18 confirmed cases of Alabama Rot within a 20-mile radius of Preston in recent weeks.
The disease CRGV – commonly known as Alabama Rot – can lead to kidney failure and it affects dogs of all size and weights.
The veterinary organisation is calling on owners to take precautions such as washing off “woodland mud” after walks and checking their animals regularly for symptoms.
A Vets4Pets spokesman said: “As the cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown, there is no known way to prevent your dog from contracting the disease, although there have been cases of closely associated dogs becoming affected.
“It is thought that the disease is picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks and knowing the warning signs is key to treating the disease.
“If caught early, your vet can evaluate if your dog has contracted CRGV.”
Telltale signs of the disease are skin lesions appearing as “distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or open and ulcer like appearance”.
Sore skin on the legs or outward signs of kidney failure such as vomiting, reduced hunger and unusual tiredness are also signs.