ERIC the lurcher has become the latest victim of the deadly Alabama Rot in Trafford.

Vets confirmed the Sale pet’s death was due to the fungal disease.

The dog was owned by Hannah and Chris Upton, who took him to a Cheadle Hulme vet for emergency treatment, after spotting open skin lesions on his leg and fearing further complications, but it was not possible to save him.

Mrs Upton said: “At first it was just a swelling on his wrist joint, which became swollen and sore within hours and he was struggling to walk so we thought he had a fracture.

“It was bandaged by our own vet and when it came off, lesions developed and quickly spread quickly up his whole leg. He just kept on deteriorating.”

The disease which is also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), was first detected in the UK in 2012 and the number of cases has risen each year.

There have been 152 confirmed cases, including 29 cases in 2018.

Mrs Upton said: “We had read about Alabama Rot, but you never think it will happen to your pet.

“We are devastated because he was a much-loved family pet. He was a rescue when we got him at 18 months old and he loved fuss and attention. It has been a terrible shock and just awful to see him so ill.

“We want to help raise awareness of Alabama Rot so other dog owners don’t go through what we have.”

Vets battled round the clock to save Eric, who came to the practice as an emergency referral with the suspected disease.

Dave Tymms, a clinical director of Woodcroft Veterinary Group, said: “We don’t want dog owners to panic, given the rarity of the condition, but it is advisable to take sensible precautions.

“Unfortunately, as the cause is currently unknown, it is difficult to give specific advice on prevention. One theory is that environmental bacteria may be involved.

“Dog owners may wish to consider bathing their dogs if they become wet or muddy on a walk.

“It causes skin lesions and, if kidney problems develop, the prognosis is poor. If anyone thinks their dog may be developing signs of Alabama Rot, or they have concerns about a wound, they should contact their vet immediately.”

A post-mortem examination on Eric's kidneys and skin lesions confirmed he had died of CRGV.