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Preventing Alabama Rot

March 02, 2018

Preventing Alabama Rot

What can be done about Alabama Rot?

There’s been a lot of publicity recently about dogs across the UK getting Alabama Rot. This is a nasty disease that eats away at dogs’ flesh, causing fatal damage to the animals’ blood vessels and kidneys.

Since 2012, there have been 126 confirmed cases of Alabama Rot in the UK, with experts saying 2017 has been the worst year yet, with 37 confirmed deaths, nearly twice the number of 2016. Many of the early cases occurred in southern England, but dog deaths have now spread to 32 counties.

The bad news is that vets are at a loss to establish a cause or cure for the disease, which is fatal in 80% of cases.

Alabama Rot is also known as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy). It started out among greyhounds in the US in the 1980s, with UK cases only being reported in the last six years. Dogs contracting the disease begin to vomit and develop skin lesions. This leads on to kidney failure.

Vet David Scott from North Dorset has urged owners to contact a vet immediately if they notice any warning signs such as skin sores, tiredness, loss of appetite and vomiting.

What can be done to prevent Alabama Rot
What can be done to prevent Alabama Rot?

He says: "We can only diagnose Alabama Rot through a post-mortem but, in the suspected cases we have seen, the owners have been too upset for a post-mortem.

"However, we have our suspicions. Four fatal cases were quite suspicious while another four non-fatal cases were less likely but still possible. It's frustrating that we can't be sure, but blood tests showed liver and kidney issues.”

How to prevent Alabama Rot?

It seems that walks in muddy, wooded areas are a particular issue. That’s obviously going to affect a dog’s exercise programme, particularly at this time of year, but Dr Scott says: "What we don't want is for people to stop taking their dogs out, but we suggest owners wash their dogs, especially after muddy walks.”


What can be done to prevent Alabama Rot? 





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