COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

Alabama Rot

March 16, 2022

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Alabama Rot is a disease that affects dogs by blocking and damaging the blood vessels in their skin and kidneys.  Those affected ill usually develop painful ulcers or sores on their legs and can eventually develop kidney failure, which is usually fatal.

There is still very little known or understood about the disease, named after the US state where it first appeared in the 1980s.  The exact cause isn’t known but there is a potential link to walking your dog in muddy, woodland areas in the Spring and Winter months.

In the UK between November 2012 and February 2022, around 281 dogs have been affected.  It is still a very rare disease but it is on the increase.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of the disease are:

  • painful skin lesions.
  • Sores and ulcers located around the paws and lower legs.
  • Sores and ulcers on the dog’s face, mouth, tongue and lower body.
  • Fur loss around the above areas.
  • Excessive licking.

After three days, signs of kidney failure will appear with the following symptoms being present:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Tiredness and lethargy.
  • Vomiting

It’s really important for owners to bring their dog to see a vet as soon as possible if they suspect Alabama Rot in their dog.  The earlier treatment begins, the higher the chance of recovery.

Can I prevent my dog getting the disease?

There is some evidence to suggest that the disease is seasonal with most cases occurring between November and June.  Although there is no way at the moment to prevent Alabama Rot, there are suggestions that the disease spreads through muddy and wooded areas.  We would advise owners to rinse off their dogs after a walk in these types of areas to reduce the risk.

Owners should know that this disease is still very rare so the risks are low.  Being vigilant to the symptoms and seeking veterinary advice quickly are all ways in which owners can manage the risk further.  It’s also useful to know where cases have been found so you can avoid these areas if you choose.  Find out where cases have been confirmed HERE

The good news is that the Royal Veterinary College have been working on developing a treatment for Alabama Rot.  To find out more click the link HERE

If you have any concerns about the health of your dog, contact the team today on PetsApp or by calling 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

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