An update from your local community veterinary practice
What is Alabama rot?
Alabama rot is a disease called cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV). It is caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and the kidney. It causes tiny blood clots to block the blood vessels, leading to tissue damage seen as redness, swelling, sores or ulcers on the skin of their legs and feet, tummies, faces and mouths. Some dogs go on to develop severe kidney failure.
The cause of Alabama rot is still unknown, but ongoing investigations and research are continuing by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester, among other organisations. Many possible causes, such as common bacterial infections and exposure to toxins, have been ruled out.
What should I look out for?
The first signs of the disease are ulcers or sores, redness or swelling of the skin, particularly on paws, limbs, chest and tummies and occasionally on the face, tongue or mouth. Not all dogs go on to develop life-threatening kidney failure and they can recover fully. It is important to remember that most of the time a skin problem will not be caused by Alabama rot, however any unexplained lesions should be checked and treated as necessary.
Although Alabama rot can be very serious, the number of dogs affected with skin lesions and kidney failure remains low (only 287 confirmed cases across the UK between November 2012 and December 2022, with approximately 39 within a 25 mile radius of Christchurch).
Can I prevent my dog getting Alabama rot?
It is very difficult to provide specific advice about preventing Alabama rot as the cause is still unknown. However, muddy walks and wintertime seem to increase the number of cases so we would suggest:
- Washing off your dog after a walk in the Forest, especially if they are muddy
- Being vigilant about checking their skin, feet and legs
- Contacting us if you are worried about any skin problem.
If you have any concerns regarding Alabama rot then please remember we are here, as always so contact us on 01202 484466