There has been a recent warning from vets to ensure dog owners stay alert to the symptoms of Alabama Rot, following two new cases of the disease so far this year.
Alabama rot, otherwise known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), damages the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys of dogs, which causes visible sores on the skin and can lead to severe organ dysfunction and ultimately kidney failure.
The cause of the disease is currently unknown, mostly because it’s so rare it’s difficult to study. However, nearly all previous cases have occurred during winter and spring (between November and May), and it’s often reported in dogs that have walked in muddy or woodland areas. Alabama rot can affect dogs of any age, and any breed.
What are the symptoms of Alabama rot?
The following are typical signs of Alabama rot:
- Skin ulcers/sores
- Most commonly on the leg, foot, nose or tongue
- Usually painful, red, raised and circular
- Sometimes have a dark or black centre
- Often surrounded by swelling and/or bruising
- Limping or stiffness
- Loss of appetite
- Low energy
- Vomiting/Diarrhoea (sometimes bloody)
- Drinking/peeing more
- Red dots/blood blisters on the skin
Can I do anything to avoid Alabama rot?
While it’s extremely difficult to give advice about how to avoid Alabama rot, it is recommended that you wash off all mud following a wet and muddy walk, especially if it has been through woodland.
What should I do if my dog is showing signs of Alabama rot?
If you’re concerned that your dog may have symptoms, contact your vet immediately for further advice. If it is Alabama rot, early recognition and aggressive management are likely to have the best results.