Alabama Rot – What you need to know.

 

Over the weekend there have been a few posts on social media regarding Alabama Rot.  Sadly there have been three confirmed cases over the past week, this brings the total number of confirmed cases to 219 since 2012, with 15 in 2020. 

With the help of Andersen Moores Veterinary Specialists we would like to provide our clients with the up to date information regarding Alabama Rot or CRGV as it is also known.

What exactly is Alabama Rot?

CRGV, commonly known as ‘Alabama Rot’ is a disease of unknown cause that affects all breeds of dogs and doesn’t discriminate in terms of age or weight. CRGV is a disease caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. It causes tiny blood clots to form in the blood vessels which blocks them and can ultimately lead to damage of the affected tissue. In the skin, this causes ulceration; however, in the kidney it can lead to severe organ dysfunction (kidney failure).The cause is still unknown but investigation in to the disease is ongoing. 

How do I stop my dog from getting Alabama Rot / CRGV?

Sadly with the cause currently unknown, it is difficult to advise clients about prevention methods. The current advise is to ensure your dog is washed down or bathed if they become wet and muddy on a walk.

Where should I walk my dog to avoid CRGV?

There isn’t any advice on walks to avoid with regards to Alabama Rot. Cases have been reported all across the UK and many different countries.  A map detailing all confirmed cases since 2012, is available at www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot/

What to look out for?

If your pets has any unexplained sores, swellings or redness of the skin,(particularly on the face, tongue, mouth, paws or legs) then these can often be the first signs of the disease.  It is important to remember that in the majority of cases, skin problems will not be caused by Alabama Rot/ CRGV.  The lesions however in CRGV can be similar to cuts, wounds, stings or bites, so we advise our clients if they are in any doubt to seek Veterinary advice. If the skin changes are caused by CRGV, many dogs will not develop kidney problems and will recover fully.  Early detection is important so advice is to wash or bath after a wet and muddy walk, have a look at your pets skin and if in any doubt over skin condition to contact us here at the Barn. 
KEY MESSAGE: although CRGV can be very serious, the number of dogs affected with skin lesions and kidney failure remains low (122 confirmed cases across the UK between November ‘12 and Jan’18).

How is CRGV treated?

If your dog develops a skin lesion your vet will be able to advise you on the most appropriate management. Your vet will decide if your dog needs antibiotics and if the area needs covering. Some forms of painkiller (called non-steroidals) may be best avoided. Dogs developing kidney failure (which is called acute kidney injury) will need much more intensive management and your vet may recommend referral to a specialist.


Can dogs get CRGV all year round?

Over the last 6 years, more CRGV cases have been seen between November and May than between June and October, suggesting a possible Winter / Spring seasonality.
 

Here are some links to Andersen Moores for more information, along with a link to their Facebook Page. 

https://www.andersonmoores.com/owner/CRGV.php

https://www.facebook.com/VetSpecialists