Alabama What?

This has been a focus in the news recently so we thought we would provide pet owners with an update on this condition.

What is Alabama Rot?

This disease was identified in 2012 with a total of 109 cases. Alabama rot can be a fatal condition which was originally identified in the 1980s in greyhounds. The condition is one of idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) – which means blood vessels of the skin and kidneys are affected. The disease damages the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys. Blood clots form in the blood vessels which blocks them and leads to tissue damage. The ‘idiopathic’ means that the cause of the condition is unknown.

What causes it?

Most cases occur between November and May each year suggesting some seasonality to the cause of the disease. Investigations are ongoing to identify the cause, which is unknown at the moment. The risk of dogs getting the disease is low but we are advising pet owners to be vigilant.

What to look out for?

The first sign of the disease is a skin sore that can be found on the lower half of the leg that isn’t caused by a known injury. There are no known preventative measures to stop this disease but it is important to educate our owners to learn to spot early signs. Some cases can show anorexia, vomiting, lethargy or low temperature. As we don’t know what causes it we cannot advise how to avoid it. It has been linked to certain areas, if you walk your dogs in a muddy area we advise to wash them after the walk.

How can we treat the disease?

Treatment of the disease is supportive but is only successful in only 20% of cases. Patients are often admitted for intensive fluid therapy and supportive medication.

Confirmed UK cases of
Alabama Rot
In 2017
Berkshire 1 Greater Manchester 4 Staffordshire 3
Cheshire 1 Hertfordshire 1 Warwickshire 2
Devon 4 Lancashire 1 West Midlands 1
Dorset 3 Monmouthshire 1 West Sussex 1
East Sussex 1 Republic of Ireland 1 Worcestershire 3

More information can be found at www.arrf.co.uk (Alabama Rot Research Fund). Alternatively please contact your nearest Swayne & Partners branch to discuss any concerns with one of our vets.