SIX further cases of dogs dying from acute kidney failure are being investigated as vets pool information on a deadly toxin. The number of suspected cases is now 12.

But they say no further cases have been seen since March 1 and are hopeful the outbreak of six cases, which happened after people walked their pets from the Ogdens car park near Fordingbridge, has now stopped.

In addition, the six cases being put forward with possible similarities may not have involved a walk in that area.

Experts are still studying blood from the six dogs that died after walks at Latchmore Brook, near Ogdens.

Another dog is known to have died after being exercised at Moors Valley, and there was a case in Calshot.

Vets Roger Stobbs of the Forest Veterinary Clinic in Fordingbridge and Duncan Reavell of Linwood Veterinary Group in Verwood have been collating information on the cases, some of which they have sent to specialists Anderson Moores in Winchester.

David Walker from Anderson Moores said: “We do not know at this stage if the additional cases have been walked in the New Forest.

“In fact most of them are outside of the area and initial investigations suggest they have not been in the New Forest.

“This may mean that these dogs had kidney injury from an unrelated problem. We are contacting the vets involved to gather more information.

“Testing is ongoing but as yet no definitive cause has been identified. Thankfully we have had no new cases for nearly a month now.”

The symptoms have started with sore paws or legs, which swell and blister. The dogs have then become very unwell within days, with vomiting and shaking also being reported.

A spokesman for New Forest District Council said: “Six further possible cases occurring before March 1 have recently come to light, making a total of 12 possible cases to date.

“Environmental and veterinary investigations are continuing as all practical steps are taken to establish the cause.

“Local vets, specialist laboratories, The Forestry Commission, The Environment Agency and other authorities including New Forest District Council continue to co-operate in working to find the cause of the illness.

“Should members of the public have any information that they believe would help with this investigation please email or telephone 02380 283141.

“Dog owners should be vigilant, and contact their vet if they have any concerns about the health of their dogs.”