Alabama rot, or cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, originated in America among Greyhounds in the 1980s but UK cases have only been reported since the end of 2012.
The disease does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog and cases have been reported in locations across the UK.
Analysis of the numbers indicates dogs are most prone to the disease between October and June.
If caught early then treatment can be applied to the dog’s kidneys but in four out of five cases help arrives too late.
Concerned dog owners are advised to look out for skin sores or swelling on the dog’s legs, which could be signs of Alabama rot.
Animal Health Trust spokeswoman Farrah Owens said: ‘The best thing dog owners can do is be aware of the symptoms and access their vets as soon as they see signs of sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy. Dogs that visit their vet quickly tend to recover.’
A Forestry Commission spokesman said: ‘Owners should always keep their dogs under close control and be aware of anything they may pick up, chew or eat in a woodland area.’