Alabama Rot, also known as Cutaneous Renal and Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is a very rare disease that has an extremely high fatality rate. It was first discovered in the USA in the 1980s however the illness was later discovered here in the UK in 2012, with over 60 cases reported. We want to make the symptoms clear and help you to be aware of the issues and how to prevent this disease affecting your dog.
What causes Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot can affect all breeds irrespective of age, gender or weight of your dog. It is suggested that toxins from some strains of E.Coli bacteria play a role. E.Coli is a very common bacteria found in the faeces of many animals so exposure is common – whether that be walking through an infected field, picking up or eating a substance that carries the bacteria. Please note that this disease is extremely rare and it is still unclear what the root cause is – but most believe it is contracted in woodland areas
What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms are small skin sores, often found below the elbow or knee or on the face – these can appear as a patch of red skin or can even be an open wound or ulcer. The following days your dog can become lethargic and nauseous and can unfortunately result in kidney failure.
We ask all owners to be vigilant and to keep your dog on a lead where possible as well as being aware of what your dog is eating and chewing on walks. We recommend you thoroughly wash down your dog’s legs after a walk and look for any ulcers, cuts or skin lesions – particularly if you live in the affected areas.
The confirmed affected areas of previous cases can be located on this map created by Chris Street BSc (Hons) MBA MSc (Med. Chem.), AlabamaRot.co.uk.
Unfortunately this disease can only be confirmed on post-mortem exam but we do know that most cases are seen in dogs that have been walked in wooded areas a few days before signs show from November to April and the best chance of survival for the dogs is seeking treatment immediately.
If you are in any doubt or unsure whether your dog is affected please bring them into The Vet immediately. Don’t forget no appointment is needed, just drop in during our consulting times.
If you would like to know more about this disease, visit the current research leaders in the UK Anderson and Moore’s website (http://www.andersonmoores.com/owner/CRGV.php).