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Alabama rot – a dog owners’ guide

By Bruce Casalis
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Alabama rot CRGV dogs Surrey Weybridge vet

 

Alabama rot is a very rare but serious condition for dogs and has been seen in some areas of the UK this winter. Unfortunately, very little is known about it.

With the help of our colleagues at the Weybridge Veterinary Centre, here’s a short guide to what to look for and what to do.

What is it?

Also known by its medical name CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy), Alabama rot is a condition that impacts dogs of all breeds. It begins with skin lesions and then affects the kidneys. While its actual cause is still unknown, it is associated with cold wet weather which is why most cases occur from November to May.

If you notice unexplained inflamed sores on your dog, particularly on their legs, feet and face, take them straight to a vet. The quicker you act the better. Alabama rot can cause kidney failure within days if left unchecked. Symptoms it has spread to the kidneys include lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, and changes in their drinking and urinating patterns.

What happens next?

If caught early enough at the skin lesions stage prognosis is good. Your vet will prescribe the appropriate treatment and care, and your dog should make a full recovery. If the condition has progressed to the kidneys, specialist in-house veterinary care will be needed and not all dogs will recover.

How can I prevent it?

Its cause is still unknown, so it’s hard to say. If you walk your dog in wet muddy conditions do make sure you thoroughly wash and dry their feet and legs when you get home. Most importantly, be vigilant for the signs.

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