We know that some of you have been concerned about the recent cases of “Alabama Rot” in the UK, so we have decided to put together some of the latest information on the disease for you to read.
What is it?
“Alabama Rot”, also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is a rare disease that can cause damage to blood vessels and the kidneys of dogs.
What is the cause?
The cause of the disease is currently under research, but at this stage is unknown.
What symptoms does it cause?
CRGV causes ulceration of the skin, typically around the paws/ bottom of the legs but the lesions can also develop elsewhere on the body e.g. the nose and tongue. It’s important to remember that there are many other causes of skin lesions which are far more common.
Some dogs will go on to develop kidney failure in the days after the skin sores. Signs of kidney failure include lethargy, vomiting, inappetence and increased thirst.
Where has it occurred in the UK?
CRGV remains rare in the UK. The first confirmed case was in November 2012 and since then approximately 150 dogs from 37 counties across the UK have been diagnosed with CRGV. Most cases occur between November-May. There have been two confirmed cases within a 20 mile radius of Bicester since 2012.
The condition is very difficult to diagnose. Our vets may be suspicious of the disease based on clinical signs and a blood test. Unfortunately, the disease currently cannot be fully confirmed without examination of tissue after death.
Treatment is challenging and would usually consist of supportive care including intensive fluid therapy. Some dogs who develop renal failure from CRGV won’t survive.
As the cause of the disease is still unknown, there are no current recommendations for prevention, or specific areas in the UK to avoid.
It has been suggested that rinsing any mud from your dog’s legs after a walk may help as this is a possible source of the disease. Though there is no current evidence to support this, it would seem a good precaution
It is very important to remember that cases of CRGV are very rare. There are many other causes of skin lesions in dogs, which we see on a daily basis. There are also many other causes of kidney disease in dogs. If you are ever concerned about your pet please do not hesitate to contact us, we are always happy to help.
Here are the main points again:
- The cause of CRGV (Alabama Rot) is as yet unknown.
- The condition is extremely rare and there are many other causes of similar skin lesions or kidney disease.
- As the cause is unknown, the treatment is based on treating the skin lesions & renal failure with hospitalisation & intensive management.
- Symptoms & blood test results can make us suspicious of this diagnosis but only testing of samples after death can confirm the disease.
- If you are suspicious of any symptoms in your dog then please see one of our vets.
Information sourced from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists and British Veterinary Association
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