As a dog owner we are sure you’ve heard and are scared stiff by the reports and rumours of Alabama Rot in the UK. Yes it has been confirmed in the UK, but it is still very very rare. There has been a total of 132 confirmed cases since 2012 with 12 of them being in 2018. Its a good thing that everyone is aware of it but there is a lot of scaremongering going on.
So what is Alabama Rot?
The correct term for Alabama Rot is CRGV. This is a bit of a mouth full so bear with; it stands for Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy. This condition effects the skin (cutaneous) and the kidneys ( Renal Glomerular) blood vessels (Vasculopathy). It causes damage to the tiny blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. The skin tends to get lesions which is what most of you will be familiar with as Alabama Rot. The damage to the Kidneys sadly leads to kidneys failure.
You maybe wondering why its called Alabama Rot? Well in the 1980s a group of greyhounds in Alabama developed CRGV and bingo that’s where this horrible name came from. At the moment no one knows what the direct cause of CRGV is.
How can I stop my dog getting it?
As there is no information on the cause of CRGV yet, it is very difficult to advise you guys on what you should or should not do. Some have advised bathing any areas of your pooch that has come into contact with mud or wet, this is a possibility of how it is contracted. Spotting the disease early is very important so if you do notice any unexplained lesions then get your pooch to the vet straight away.
Is there any treatment?
Your vet will be the best person to decide on the course of treatment, it maybe that they need to start a course of antibiotics, pain relief and treat the wounds directly by dressing them. The vet may also want to start treatment to support the kidneys such as intra venous fluid therapy. In a lot of cases your vet may want to seek advice from specialist and even refer your pooch to them.
Where is it in the UK?
Have a look at the below map, it is as up to date as we can find at the moment. As so little is known about CRGV it is difficult to pin point exactly where the dogs that have been affected picked it up from.
What can I do to Help?
There is research going into the cause of and treatment of Alabama Rot. Research is always an expensive thing so if you really want to help you can hold fundraising events and spread the word to help support places like The Alabama Rot Research Fund (ARRF). They are a national charity which are helping to raise awareness and funds for research into CRGV. www.arrf.co.uk
CRGV is very rare! Be aware of it and act quickly if you are worried. But remember guys they need to have fun and enjoy so don’t lock them away.