If you follow social media you wil probably have seen posts about a rare disease called Alabama Rot. But what is it and should you be worried?

We have had phone calls from concerned clients recently, so we thought we should provide some further information for you.

Retriever in muddy wood at Oak House Vets

What is Alabama Rot?

The proper name for Alabama Rot is “Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy” or CRGV.

It is an uncommon but serious disease which has only been seen in UK dogs over the last 5 years. It causes lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth which can look like bites, sores, wounds or stings.

Some dogs go on to develop life-threatening kidney failure. It can affected any age or breed of dog. It seems to be more common between October and April.

How common is Alabama Rot and is it in my area?

There have been some reports of incidences of Alabama Rot in the Nottinghamshire area and clients are asked to be vigilant but it is very, very rare.

What causes Alabama Rot?

The simple answer is we do not know. 5 years of research have so far drawn a blank but investigations are ongoing. There are many theories including environmental causes.

How do I stop my dog getting Alabama Rot?

Unfortunately there is no vaccination or medication you can give your dog to prevent Alabama Rot.

It is advisable to wash mud from your dogs’ legs and paws after walks as this is a possible route of infection.

What are the symptoms of Alabama Rot?

“Unexplained redness, sores or swelling of the skin, particularly on the paws or legs but also the body, face, tongue or mouth) are often the first sign of the disease.

It is important to remember that most of the time a skin problem will NOT be caused by CRGV; however the lesions in CRGV can be difficult to distinguish from cuts, wounds, stings or bites.”*

If you are concerned then please ask us for advice.

How is CRGV treated?

If your dog gets a skin lesion, we will advise you of the most appropriate management. This may involve antibiotics and/or cleaning.

Dogs developing kidney failure will need much more intensive treatment and possibly referral to a specialist if Alabama rot is of concern.

In conclusion – Alabama rot is a very rare disease. If you are concerned that your dog may have the symptoms then please contact us for advice.

*Information taken from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists

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