It is difficult to pass any information on about diseases without scaremongering, but based on a number of confirmed reports, CRGV (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy), also known as ‘Alabama rot’ is serious, potentially fatal and spreading throughout the UK.
Hopefully this article will offer a balanced view on Alabama Rot in the UK.
Whilst it isn’t new, and was first reported in America back in the late 1980s. the UK has had confirmed cases since December 2012.
Dogs reported with Alabama rot can potentially suffer kidney failure and/or skin lesions.This is life threatening.
The cause of the disease remains unknown but believed caused by E. coli toxins.
According to Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Hampshire “currently cases can only be confirmed by examining kidney tissue under the microscope in the lab after the dog has died”.
The Forrestry Commision added “Many thousands of dogs are walked in the countryside every day and it is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected.
Most skin lesions will not be caused by this disease and most cases of kidney failure will have another cause.
Because the cause remains unknown we do not want to give the impression that some areas are safer than others indeed there may not be an environmental trigger.”
Senlac Veterinary Centre, based in Battle (Hastings), issued the following advice on their website: “We are aware of the local concerns about a suspected case of CRGV in the local vicinity. The current situation is that diagnosis has not yet been confirmed by the Royal Veterinary College.
How to spot suspected Abama Rot in the UK.
When skin ulcerations appear on lower limbs, as well as face, mouth and belly, firstly consult your vet, a few days after the appearance of these ulcers there may be lethargy and vomiting, this is caused by kidney damage, ultimately this is often fatal. Early intervention is likely to lead to the best outcome.
To put it into perspective, because your dog may have swellings and abrasions, it may not be Alabama Rot, but there is no ‘first aid’ other than keeping wounds clean and seeking urgent veterinary care. Be in no doubt that if it is CRGV, it can be fatal, death is likely to be cause by kidnet disease.
The Animal Health Trust has launched an online survey to help with the investigation. You can help by completing the survey whether or not your dog has been ill: www.aht.org.uk/alabamarot.