Alabama Rot (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy) is an emerging disease affecting dogs in the UK, which causes skin lesions/sores and ultimately kidney failure. The first incidence occurred in 2012 and since then there have been over 150 further confirmed cases with very few in Wales. See the map for the current confirmed cases in Wales.
The cause of Alabama Rot has not yet been identified, although ongoing research has suggested a number of potential bacteria, as well as environmental factors that may contribute to a dog developing this disease. The cases most commonly occur between November and May, suggesting that a wet, muddy environment may increase the risk.
Initial lesions or sores include superficial skin erosions and non-healing sores/ulcers, these generally develop on the legs, although they can also be seen on the body, face and tongue. Following these initial symptoms there is a rapid deterioration in health resulting in kidney failure, the symptoms of this include increased drinking, lethargy, decreased appetite and vomiting.
Prevention and Advice
As the specific cause of Alabama Rot has not yet been identified, it is difficult to offer preventative advice, however avoiding muddy areas and washing limbs after walks has been suggested.
The main advice focuses on early identification of lesions, and owners are encouraged to regularly examine their dogs for non-healing sores.
If these lesions are found, it is important to seek veterinary advice immediately.
Although this disease is of concern, it is worth noting that it still remains rare. Skin sores have a variety of causes, as does kidney failure, so the development of either conditions does not necessarily mean a positive diagnosis of Alabama Rot.
If you have any concerns about your pet please contact us to arrange an appointment.
‘Cases of Alabama Rot in Wales’ Map image: from ©BBC
Alabama rot close up: ©BVA
Tongue Ulcer image: ©www.alabamarot.co.uk
Paw Image: ©www.alabamarot.co.uk