Everything you need to know about Alabama rot
What is Alabama rot?
Alabama rot, also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is a disease affecting dogs by causing damage to the skin and kidney's bloodn vessels.
This diseases can cause small blood clots to form resulting in blockages that can lead to damage of the affected tissue. This damage causes visable ulceration in the skin, but when the kidney is affected it can lead to serve organ dysfunction and ultimately kidney failure.
What causes Alabama rot?
Currently, the cause of the disease is unknown, but research is still on going. Since December 2012, a small number of cases have been seen throughout the UK.
To keep up to date with where there have been cases please see Vets4Pets: https://www.vets4pets.com/pet-health-advice/alabama-rot/.
What we do know is that most reports come from pet owners who walk their dogs in the countryside during, and that most cases are reported during the winter and spring, but the specific cause is unknown.
Should I be worried about my dog contracting Alabama rot?
The number of cases in the uk are still extremely low, so there is little reason to worry. Thousands of dogs walk in the countryside every day and it is important to rememeber that only a small amount of dogs have been affected.
What are the symptoms?
The apperance of skin sores, that are not caused by a known injury can be a symptom of Alabama rot. In typical causes, skin legions have appeared bloew the knee or elbow and occasionally on the face or at the bottom of the chest or abdomen.
The may be visable swelling, red patches or a defect in the skin (maybe an ulcer). Otherwise, a reduced appetite, drinkling more, vomiting and lethargy are signs of acute kidney injury.
Can I do anything to avoid Alabama rot?
Unfortunatley it is very difficult to give any advice on how to avoid Alabama rot. The only advise is to wash off all mud following a wet and muddy walk, especially through woodlands. However there is still no proof that this is necessary or helpful.
I think my dog might have Alabama rot?
If you are concered that your dog may be suffering we urge you to contact your vet immediately for further advice. If affected early recognition and aggressive managment is likely to have the best result.
However I would like to stress that the threat is very low, and while there may be environmental triggers we cannot confirm that some arears are safer than others.