We’ve had a couple of clients this week asking about Alabama Rot and whether their dogs are at risk. Alabama Rot (also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy or CRGV) causes skin lesions and kidney failure. The symptoms have been linked to a condition in Greyhounds in the USA since the 1980s, although UK cases have been confirmed across a mix of breeds.
Early intervention is key in treatment of Alabama Rot but even then, only 15% of cases survive.
A study was carried out between November 2012 and March 2014 across 53 practices, where dogs presented symptoms of kidney failure and skin disease. Over 70 cases of Alabama Rot were suspected although 41 of these were excluded as there wasn’t enough conclusive evidence to support the condition.
Unfortunately, causes of the condition remain unknown. Initial cases were reported in November 2012 in the New Forest. In March this year, 3 cases have been confirmed in Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire.
It’s important to remember the risk to dogs of contracting Alabama Rot is exceedingly small. However, it’s useful to be aware of signs of the disease. These are typically: unusual skin lesions (typically on lower leg and sometimes on the abdomen, bottom of the chest or face) followed by signs of illness such as tiredness, vomiting, not wanting to eat and a high temperature.
As we don’t know the cause of the disease, it’s difficult to prevent. Knowing the signs is key. If you are worried about a skin lesion, it’s always best to get it checked out.
(Data from Veterinary Times, volume 45, no 21 and The Independent 1.05.15)