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Alabama Rot

- Posted by in Dog Health & Wellbeing News
Alabama Rot

With Alabama Rot featuring heavily in the news of late, let’s answer the questions we’ve all been asking.

What is it?

Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy, or Alabama Rot, is a serious disease with a 90% mortality rate in dogs. It is characterised by painful skin lesions and organ failure.

When was it first identified?

Alabama Rot was first discovered in the 1980s amongst a group of greyhounds. This was in Alabama, USA. The first confirmed cases in the UK were in 2012.

How many UK dogs have been affected?

Figures vary between sources, but there have been approximately 98 confirmed cases in the UK, 22 unconfirmed and 35 suspected.

How is the disease spread?

Although there is no definitive evidence, it is now believed that Alabama Rot is spread through the environment – potentially water – and is ingested orally.

Whose dogs are at risk?

The disease affects all dogs, regardless of breed, age or size. There is some speculation that walking in muddy, woodland areas puts your dog more at risk, but there is nothing conclusive to support this.

What are the symptoms?

The first symptoms will show on the skin as lesions, sores or areas of red, inflamed skin. You may notice these on the legs first, although they can be found anywhere on the body, including the stomach, face and tongue.

After a couple of days, symptoms indicative of kidney failure will be evident, including severe fatigue, vomiting and loss of appetite.

What can you do to protect your dog?

Unfortunately, until a cause is found, knowing how to prevent the disease remains a mystery. If the trigger is environmental, then it makes sense to clean your dog thoroughly when you return from a muddy walk. Use shampoo or warm soapy water to thoroughly wash down the legs and body.

Keep an eye on any unusual or suspicious skin lesions or inflamed areas and get them looked at by a vet straight away.

Feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts on this discussion.

Written by:


6th Feb 2018
Customer Since: January 2017
From: Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Great advice berriewood

6th Feb 2018
Customer Since: July 2017
From: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Thanks for this helpful info

7th Feb 2018
Customer Since: January 2018
From: Essex, United Kingdom

Are the cases in the UK in certain areas?

7th Feb 2018

Is it just dogs that it affects or wildlife as well e.g. foxes

7th Feb 2018

Hi Diane,

There have been cases in Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire, Greater Manchester, Somerset, and a number of other counties. No area seems to be more at risk than any other, so don't panic.

Best wishes, Berriewood.

7th Feb 2018

Hi Mary,

The disease is only known to affect dogs.

Best wishes, Berriewood.

7th Feb 2018

Recently a vet (working in the new forest area) may have found a similarity on fish which have lesions and subs die.She opined that the said bacteria lives in still water (puddles) even when the temperatures are zero and that these bacteria are transferred by animals even to fish.She is currently researching but its early days.

8th Feb 2018

There are confirmed cases now in the North East. Durham Area.

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