Alabama Rot

Image by Isa KARAKUS from Pixabay 

Alabama Rot – or CRGV – is sparking fears among the dog-owning community across the UK but what is it? Are all breeds affected? What signs should owners be looking out for?
Here’s our guide on the deadly disease.

What is Alabama Rot?
Thought to have originated in America among greyhounds in the 1980s, Alabama Rot attacks a dog’s flesh and causes damage to the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys, leading to fatal kidney failure.
The disease was first detected in the UK in 2012 and has since affected almost 200 pooches. Around nine out of ten of those who were diagnosed with Alabama Rot were killed by the disease.

Can my dog get Alabama Rot?
Sometimes called the canine ‘black death’, the disease can be contracted by any breed.

What signs should I look out for?
The first indication of Alabama Rot is normally a distinct swelling, patch of red skin or an open, ulcer-like skin sore found below a dog’s elbow or knee.
Other symptoms to be aware of are:
• Reduced appetite
• Lethargy
• Altered drinking and urinating
• Vomiting
• Fever

What should I do if my dog is showing signs of Alabama Rot?
The number of cases reported in the UK is relatively low so dog owners shouldn’t be too worried.
However, if you’re concerned your dog is showing signs of the disease, book an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

How can I prevent my dog from getting Alabama Rot?
Unfortunately, the cause of Alabama Rot is unknown so there are no specific steps to stop your pooch from contracting the disease.
However, new advice recommends keeping dogs out of the mud as muddy ground in woodland seems to be a common factor in many of the recent deaths.
Owners who go in these areas are advised to monitor where their dogs go, wash off any mud as soon as possible and watch out for signs of the illness.