Alabama Rot - What To Look Out For

Posted by Zuce Pets on

You may have heard about Alabama Rot but do you know exactly what this is and the symptoms to are? In this blog, we will give you the background to what Alabama Rot is, the causes and the symptoms to look out for.

So what exactly is Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot, also known as CRGV, is a deadly disease that was first identified in Alabama in the 1980's among greyhounds. It damages the dog's blood vessels and kidney and can be fatal. Cases of Alabama Rot became less and less and was presumed to have ceased to exist. That was until recent years where more and more cases of this disease are being confirmed within the UK.

So how is this disease spread within dogs?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this but there are a few theories. One is walking dogs in certain areas in the countryside where there is a lot of mud and wooded areas, although no areas in particular have been flagged up to be problem spots. Another is dogs drinking outdoors but again this hasn't been proven. The difficult part of this, and one that is stumping vets, is that lot's of dogs walk in these same areas, however, not every dog is being affected by this deadly disease. It also doesn't appear to be contagious within dogs like other diseases are.

So what are the symptoms to look out for?
Most importantly, you need to know what to look out for in your dogs. The most obvious are skin lesions. These can be quite swollen are are usually on the lower leg, below the elbow or knee and often a circle shape. They can sometimes, but more rarely, be seen on other parts of the body including the face or the stomach. Another sign is your dog licking the infected area, this can cause the area to become hairless. These symptoms are then usually followed by kidney failure. Signs to loot out for here are lack of appetite and vomiting. These symptoms can be related to other illnesses and diseases so always call your vet to get clarification. Also, these symptoms may not show straight away, sometimes it can take up to 10 days to show.

So what happens if your dog contracts this disease?
If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your vet immediately. They will be able to guide you with the appropriate action to take, this may include taking antibiotics. This disease can spread through your dogs body very quickly so speed is essential here. So far, we have seen that some dogs have recovered after contracting the disease, however sadly around 85% of dogs have gone onto have kidney failure and not survived. Statistics have shown that if you can get your dog treated before they have kidney failure, there is a better chance of survival.

So what can we all do to prevent this?
At the moment, the advice is pretty vague. However, washing your dogs when they come back from a muddy walk will help. Although this hasn't been proven, we believe this is a good step for everyone to take.

We're sure, over the coming months and years, more information will be made available to us to help eliminate this devastating disease.


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