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Alabama Rot Symptoms: Warning Dog Owners About Deadly Flesh-Eating Disease UK News

Dog owners are urged to take care when walking their pets after two more cases of Alabama rot were confirmed in the UK.

The deadly, flesh-eating virus has now killed five dogs in the UK since the start of its year, with the latest cases occurring in Briston and Kingston, Devon.

Two cases were also confirmed in Rickmansworth in March 2020.

Alabama rot was first discovered in the UK in 2012 and was mainly reported by pet owners walking their dogs in the countryside.

Most cases are reported in winter and spring, when the weather is generally colder and wetter, and it is generally much rarer in the summer months.

The two new confirmed cases follow 28 throughout 2021 and 47 in 2020, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 284.

Experts at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester have confirmed the latest two cases and the veterinary hospital has collated information on all confirmed cases and reports across the UK since 2012.

David Walker, an American, RCVS and European EBVS specialist in small animal internal medicine, leads Anderson Moores’ team and is the UK’s leading authority on the disease.

He said: “We are very sad to confirm two more cases of CRGV. Unfortunately, we are at the time of year when cases are most often identified.

“It is naturally worrying for dog owners, but I must point out that this disease is still very rare.

“We advise dog owners across the country to remain calm but alert and seek advice from their local veterinarians if their dog develops any unexplained skin lesions.”

What is Alabama rot?

Alabama rot, otherwise known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), is a disease that affects dogs.

It damages blood vessels in the skin and kidneys, causing visible sores on the skin and can lead to serious organ dysfunction and kidney failure.

The disease has a 90% mortality rate but the cause of the disease is still unknown, and unfortunately the signs are often detected too late.

Alabama Rot Symptoms

The first sign of the disease is often a sore on the skin that usually appears below the knee or elbow, and sometimes on the face or lower chest or abdomen. This can cause the skin to redden and the sore to look like an open ulcer.

The RSPCA recommends looking for the following symptoms:

– Skin sores, visible swelling, red spot or skin defects not caused by a known injury
– Changes in appetite, including decreased appetite, alcohol consumption, vomiting and lethargy

The majority of visible skin lesions will not be caused by Alabama rot, and most cases of kidney failure will be the result of another cause, but if you are concerned that your dog may be suffering, you should seek advice from your veterinarian because early detection is key.

Should I be worried about my dog ​​rotting in Alabama?

Cases of Alabama rot in the UK are extremely low, so dog owners shouldn’t worry too much about their pet becoming ill.

The disease appears to affect dogs that roam in muddy and wooded areas, and it first appeared in Greyhounds in Alabama, USA in the 1980s.

Mr Walker said the best chance for a cure lies with early and intensive veterinary care, which can best be delivered in a specialist facility.

He explained: “We have been at the forefront of CRGV research for almost a decade and have seen firsthand the often devastating effects of the disease.

“Treatment largely revolves around intensive management of sudden kidney failure and unfortunately with our current understanding of the disease it is only successful in about 10% of cases.”

Mr Walker hopes Anderson Moores’ new dedicated CRGV website will be a useful tool in raising awareness of the disease and providing information for dog owners.

He added: “In launching this new website, we aim to give pet owners as much information as possible about CRGV.

“We hope the map of confirmed cases will also prove useful. Although an environmental trigger has not been definitively proven, the seasonality of the disease makes it perfectly possible and the map allows everyone to see the location of confirmed cases.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-09 09:00:00

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