Alabama Rot or, more accurately, cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is an often fatal condition that has caused the deaths of five dogs in the North East. Initial symptoms are lesions appearing around the legs, tummy or mouth and then lethargy. CRGV dmages the blood vessels in the kidneys causing clots and death occurs from irreversible kidney damage. The exact cause isn’t known and even if urgent treatment is sought, recovery isn’t certain.
Reducing the risk of developing CRGV
The illness in the UK presents like Alabama rot but is actually something different. For a start it affects all dog breeds and the E coli bacterial toxins aren’t present. All the cases of CRGV in the North East having something in common; the dogs were recently walked in muddy woodland.Correlation is not causation – in other words, this may be coincidence. We only ever walk dogs on paths and tended grassland. For dog owners who enjoy woodland walks we would recommend that you wash your dogs down afterwards especially if it’s wet outside. Vets suspect that the disease is caused by either bacteria or fungal spores so keeping your dog clean can only be a good thing. However this is not a guarantee of prevention, a UK case where a dog had been washed subsequently developed kidney failure and sadly died.
Should I worry?
It’s still a very rare condition so try not to get overly worried. Avoid areas where CRGV has been proven and consult your vet if you are at all worried. If you do notice lesions then seek immediate veterinary advice.