Alabama Rot explained
With all the scary social media headlines recently I thought I'd dedicate this week's blog to explaining a bit about Alabama Rot (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy Disease).
Alabama Rot is extremely rare
Symptoms of the disease can include skin lesions or sores not caused by any known injury, vomiting and unusual tireness and fatigue.
Between November 2012 and May 2015 there were 56 confirmed cases across the UK (that's an average of 1.8 per month). The disease is reported to be fatal in 9 out of 10 dogs who contract it.
In 2016, the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers' Association) estimated the UK's dog population at 8,485,100!
The cause is unknown
Chris Street of the Alabama Rot website says -
“The cause at this time remains unknown but investigations are ongoing. The disease has been under investigation by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists (working closely with a number of other organisations) for almost 3 years. Many possible causes, such as common bacterial infections and exposure to toxins, have been ruled out.
Cases of CRGV have been reported from across many different counties in the UK and we are not currently advising dog owners to avoid any particular locations. Although an environmental cause for this disease is considered possible it has not been proven with testing to date.”
As the cause is unknown it is impossible to give specific advice on prevention.
What to do if your dog presents symptoms
If your dog licks any skin lesions or sores which haven't been caused by known injury, take your dog to a vet straight away (they may also present vomiting and unusual tireness). The vet will be able to diagnose, and if it is Alabama Rot, treatment can be started quickly. The quicker treatment is administered, the greater the chance of a dog surviving.
Above all, please don't be scared or worried by the headlines - be informed and vigilant with your dog's health, and as usual with any concerning symptoms, refer to a veterinary practice straight away.