Deadly Dog Disease ‘Alabama Rot’ Afflicting Pets in the UK

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Pet owners are being warned to be on lookout for signs of the deadly dog disease Alabama Rot, which has shown up in confirmed cases throughout the United Kingdom in the last several months.

There is no known exact cause for the deadly disease known as Alabama Rot, though it is believed to be acquired from the paws and legs of dogs who go on muddy walks. The latest confirmed case of the disease has been reported in Cornwall, England, thought Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists have reported numerous cases throughout England since January. Concerned clinicians are warning pet owners to be on the lookout for symptoms in their pets.

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Alabama Rot is actually Idiopathic Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy, also abbreviated as CRGV. Some vets think that it is a parasite, while others believe it to be bacterial. Most widely, it is believed to be from toxins that are produced by E. Coli, and acquired when dogs take walks through affected, muddy waters.

Because there is no exact cause, there is no vaccine, though it is under study in the United Kingdom, as the first case was confirmed there in 2012. The first identified cases were in America in the 1980s. According to a report published by the British Veterinary Association in 2015, there is a poor prognosis for dogs when azotaemia, or high nitrogen levels in the blood, develops.

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With the latest confirmed case in Cornwall, pet owners are being strongly cautioned to keep their dogs from mud while walking, and to be on diligent when spotting the symptoms. Initially, skin lesions on the chest, abdomen, and legs develop, along with skin lesions, red patches or swelling. In a quarter of the cases, Alabama Rot leads to kidney failure. Officials in Cornwall advise pet owners who are in doubt as to the origin of any skin lesions to contact their vets immediately upon noticing.

More information, including locations of confirmed cases, can be found at Vets4Pets.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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