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12th Apr 2022

Irish dog owners warned as first cases of ‘Alabama rot’ arrive in UK

The disease leads to kidney failure.

A warning has been issued to Irish dog owners after a few cases of CRGV, or Alabama rot, were recorded in the UK.

According to MediVet, Alabama rot is a disease that “affects dogs by blocking and damaging the blood vessels in their skin and kidneys”. This then leads to ulcers on their legs and it can eventually result in kidney failure, which is usually fatal.

Between 2012 and 2022, there have been 281 recorded cases of Alabama rot in the UK, and it has killed five dogs so far this year. In 2018, Ireland saw a few cases of CRGV following an outbreak in the UK.

It is not currently clear how Alabama rot spreads, but it has been linked to walking your dog in muddy woodland areas in the winter and spring months, as this is a “commonality” in the affected dogs. To this end, dog owners have been advised to rinse mud off their dog if they’ve been in these areas.

Pet owners have been encouraged to be vigilant and to check their dogs for early warning signs of the disease.

As MediVet states, the symptoms of Alabama rot include:

  • Painful skin lesions
  • Sores and ulcers, particularly around the lower legs, paws, mouth, tongue and lower body
  • Fur loss in these areas
  • Licking in excess
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Vomiting

Three days after infection, the signs of kidney failure will appear.

MediVet say that early detection is key, and that if dog owners bring their pets to the vet as soon as they spot the signs, they will have a “higher chance of recovery”.

In 2018, the Royal Veterinary College found that the treatment plasmaphersis demonstrated some promise after it was administered to six dogs with Alabama rot. Two of the dogs made a full recovery, which marked the first time severely affected animals survived CRGV.

You can read more about Alabama rot right here.