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Alabama Rot and your Dog

Alabama Rot and your Dog
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You may have heard reports of recent cases of Alabama Rot in dogs in Woldingham and Caterham.

The only two confirmed cases in Kent occurred in Ashford in April 2014 and in Dover in January 2015, with two confirmed cases in East Sussex in Lewes 2015 and Battle 2016. It is wise to be aware of this potentially fatal disease.



 

What is Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot, or Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (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).

What causes Alabama Rot?
At the present time, we simply do not know, but research is ongoing.

What are the symptoms to look out for?
Symptoms include unexplained redness, sores, skin ulcers or swelling of the skin.  These have been found particularly on paws and legs, but have also been found on the body, head, mouth and tongue.  In around 25% of affected dogs, kidney failure can occur within three to ten days. 
Alabama Rot can affect any dog of any breed, age or size, but does not appear to affect people or other animals.
There is a seasonal link with around 90% of cases reported between November and April and especially with dogs walked in muddy woodland areas or terrain with cold running or standing water.

How can I stop my dog from getting Alabama Rot?
Unfortunately, as the cause is currently unknown, it is very difficult to give specific advice about prevention. It is probably sensible to wash your dog's paws and under-carriage after walking in particularly muddy/wet areas and be vigilant for any lesions or unexplained symptoms.


If you see any unusual or unexplained lesions on your dog, we advise you to contact your nearest Pennard Vets branch for advice and an appointment.

 


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