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Alabama Rot

Emerging diseases – Alabama Rot

Since 2012 around 100 dogs have died in the UK from confirmed Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), otherwise known as Alabama Rot. The cause of CRGV is not yet known.  It is thought that the disease may be picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks, though this is not proven. There is no clear age or sex predilection. Cases seem to be more common between November and June. The disease was first reported in the New Forest area in 2012. Subsequently cases have been confirmed across the UK. A map showing confirmed cases is available on the alabamarot website.

Dogs typically present with one or more skin lesions which are usually 1 – 4 cm in length, commonly below the “knee” or elbow. The skin lesions may present as a focal swelling, a patch of red skin, or an ulcerated area. The skin lesions are a symptom of the disease process, not the result of a traumatic injury such as a cut. Affected dogs subsequently develop clinical signs of kidney injury over the following 2-7 days. Symptoms of kidney damage include tiredness, reduced appetite and sometimes vomiting. Although the illness is usually fatal, approximately 10% of dogs will survive with intensive veterinary care.

It is important to remember that CRGV remains a rare disease and only a very small number of dogs have been affected. Most skin lesions will not be caused by this disease, and most cases of kidney failure will have another cause.

If your dog is affected, early recognition of the disease is likely to lead to the best outcome. Until the trigger for the disease is understood it is not possible to give specific advice about how to avoid the illness. Further useful information on CRGV is available from AndersonMoores.

If you have any concerns that your pet may be affected then please contact us immediately.

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