Alabama Rot - Everything you need to know

Alabama Rot - Everything you need to know
    Alabama Rot - Everything you need to know

    Alabama Rot - Everything you need to know

    Hannah Inskip BVetMed MRCVS GPCertSAM is a vet working in a
    companion animal practice in the West Midlands. She discusses
    Alabama Rot, a potentially deadly disease affecting dogs.

    There has been a lot of coverage in the media recently about this potentially deadly disease, but what is
    Alabama Rot and how can we protect our four-legged friends? Otherwise known as Cutaneous and Renal
    Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV) Alabama Rot causes skin lesions which can range from mild abrasions to deep
    ulcers. A proportion of affected dogs will go on to develop kidney failure, which unfortunately is often fatal.
    Alabama Rot was first discovered in greyhounds in the USA. CRGV was first suspected to be present in
    the UK in 2012. In 2014 it was discovered that histological findings in UK
    cases are the same/similar to Alabama Rot. The first confirmed cases were in the South of the country, mainly
    in and around the New Forest area. Now cases have been confirmed throughout
    the UK from as far South as Penzance to as far North as Dumfries, as well as two
    cases in Ireland. As of January 2018, there were 122 cases reported throughout 31 counties.

    What causes Alabama Rot?
    We don’t know! It’s believed to be a toxin released by bacteria. The organism is suspected to be found in
    mud/soil. The Alabama Rot in the USA has been confirmed to be caused by a
    toxin released by E Coli bacteria, whereas no E Coli have been found to be involved in the UK cases.
    The latest research is involving a bacteria commonly found in fish, that is found in fresh and
    brackish water (commonly near dog walking areas). A lot more research is
    required to find out the cause, and organizations such as the Alabama Rot Research Fund (ARRF) are
    working on this.

    Diagnosis and treatment
    The disease starts with skin lesions, often on the legs, muzzle, abdomen and/or
    sample from the dog, maybe several over several days to check for kidney
    disease. A proportion of dogs will go on to develop severe kidney disease which
    can include signs such as drinking a lot, reduced appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. Treatment
    involves aggressive intravenous fluid therapy and wound management.
    Unfortunately, this is often unsuccessful and the mortality rate is estimated to be 80%. Diagnosis can
    only be confirmed on samples obtained by postmortem.
    Prevention Most cases of CRGV have been in dogs walking in muddy, wooded areas. Ideally, avoid these areas,
    particularly between November and June, which is when most cases have been picked up.
    Dogs have picked it up when they have been walking in the same area at the same time – it is not
    known whether the disease can spread between dogs directly or whether it’s because they were in the
    same time at the same place. If your dog does get muddy then wash the mud off as soon as possible. Any
    skin lesions should be checked by a vet immediately. But remember there are lots of (far more common) things
    that cause skin sores so try not to panic.
    Hassan Anzit
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Our Dogs Are Loved .

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