Alabama Rot

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.

CRGV lesion
Alabama Rot Lesion

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.

Bathing may help

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.

Alabama Rot confirmed cases UK

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.


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.

Don’t keep them Locked in!
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Should I insure my pet ?

Simple answer … unless you’ve won the lottery ….yes ! 

Seriously guys it’s a no brainer . Vet bills can soon rack up . The amount of times we have seen a little puss cat come in that has been hit by a car and is not insured is crazy and it’s heartbreaking too . It is distressing for you and us when this happens and no treatment can be given and euthanasia is the only option. 
 Yes you have to pay out monthly and you may never ever need to claim money back from your insurance company but isn’t it comforting to know you have that safety net just incase so fluffy can get the treatment he needs when or if needed ? 
As pets get older ailments crop up , pain relief for arthritis , blood tests , ear problems , eye problems … £££ pound signs add up . 

“But I prefer to save money in an account every month instead” 
Ok I can see this working maybe if you have a substantial sum of money in your money pot initially and put a decent sum in per month but what if your fur baby gets hit by a car and the vet says “I’m sorry mrs Edwards but buddy is going to need to be referred to a specialist for treatment of the multiple fractures he has and this is going to cost roughly £5000 ” is your pot going to be able to cough up that amount ? 

And what about butch with his lifelong skin conditions which is costing £100 a month for medications will your pot cover this ? And what if on top of butches skin problem he eats something toxic and has to be hospitalised for 48 hours and kept on a drip and the bill is £300 ? And then a week later he’s back in because he’s done the same again? Will your pot cover this ? 

Pet insurances which cover your animal for their lifetime are a god send ! Direct claims can even be set up in most cases so that £5000 for fluffy’s referral surgery doesn’t even have to leave your bank account you just pay the excess of your insurance policy which in fluffys’ case is £54 and your insurance company gives a cheque straight to your vets. Every year you could have thousands of claimable pounds if your animal should need it . Will your pot have that amount ? 
Insuring your pet is responsible ownership , it’s not a con , it’s a lifeline , a comfort blanket , a safety net , preparing for both the unexpected and inevitable and providing the best possible care you can give to your fur baby without having to remortgage your house or sell your car. 
Unfortunately there is no NHS for animals , it’s private healthcare all the way and ‘do everything you can ‘ comes with a price tag.
Just please think about it 🙂 

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