Alabama Rot – A Purleigh dog walkers guide
January 18, 2023
Alabama Rot, also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), is a rare, serious, and potentially life-threatening condition that affects dogs. It blocks and damages the blood vessels in a dog’s skin and kidneys and is characterized by skin lesions and kidney failure and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.
Although Alabama Rot is very rare, The UK has seen 290 confirmed cases in total, with 11 cases in 2022, so it’s worth checking your dog regularly for symptoms. Don’t hesitate to contact our veterinary team at Edgewood Vets if you need more information.
What causes Alabama Rot in dogs?
The exact cause of Alabama Rot is still not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetic predisposition. The condition has been reported in dogs of all breeds and ages, but it is most commonly seen in middle-aged dogs.
Researchers believe that wet, muddy conditions may somehow be linked to what causes Alabama Rot. Many of the dogs that died from it had been on muddy woodland walks during winter and spring months just before becoming ill.
How to spot Alabama Rot
The first sign of Alabama Rot is typically the development of skin lesions, which can appear as red patches, ulcers, or sores on the dog’s legs, paws, face, or mouth. These lesions are often painful and may cause the dog to lick or chew at the affected area. In some cases, the lesions can lead to infection or tissue death.
If left untreated, the lesions can progress to kidney failure, which is often fatal. Symptoms of kidney failure in dogs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination.
If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from Alabama Rot, it is important to call us as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination and may recommend additional testing, such as blood work and urine analysis, to diagnose the condition.
Treatment for Alabama Rot will depend on the severity of the condition and the extent of kidney damage. In some cases, treatment may involve medications to control pain and inflammation, as well as fluids to support kidney function. In more severe cases, hospitalisation and intensive treatment may be necessary.
Can you prevent it?
When Alabama Rot was first reported, most cases were found in the New Forest area. However, since then, cases have been reported across the UK.
While there is no known cure for Alabama Rot, there are steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk of developing the condition. These include avoiding areas with known cases of Alabama Rot, keeping your dog up to date on their vaccinations, and regularly checking for signs of skin lesions.
You should also get into the habit of washing your dog’s paws, underbelly, nose, and anywhere else that needs it, if you have been for a muddy walk.
In conclusion, Alabama Rot is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects dogs. While the exact cause is not fully understood, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms, and get in touch as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog may be affected. By taking steps to reduce your dog’s risk and providing prompt treatment, you can help to improve your dog’s chances of a successful recovery.