Alabama Rot

You probably wouldn’t know it from speaking to me (and especially not from seeing me around dogs), but technically, I’m a dog owner.

Well, I live with one at any rate.

So, I’m upset and worried about a disease that is commonly referred to in the UK as Alabama Rot also known as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy).

Alabama Rot is a mysterious disease that has been recorded in the UK for about five years. It affects dogs, and its cause is unknown. Sadly, this disease is fatal in over 80% of cases, and there is currently no cure available.

Bolton, near to JKSL’s offices, has recorded 23 cases of the disease – more than any other town in the UK.

Incidences of the disease are on the increase, with over 30 cases in the UK so far in 2018. In total, around 150 cases have been recorded in this country since 2012.

The name Alabama Rot originally referred to a disease that appeared in the USA in greyhounds in the 1980s and was associated with e-coli bacteria. The UK cases of CRGV are not associated with e-coli so this may not be the same thing, but the name ‘Alabama Rot’ has stuck.

The condition can cause severe kidney damage or kidney failure – thought to be due to toxins released by the organism causing the condition. It is the kidney failure which eventually kills the animal.

The disease first manifests as skin lesions or wounds that take a long time to heal, most often on the legs, but also on the chest, abdomen, paws and face. Dogs’ behaviour may change, and appetite may be supressed – this is associated with kidney damage.

The only current advice for prevention is to avoid standing water, particularly in wooded areas, and to wash dogs’ paws and legs when you return from a walk.

You should contact your vet if you suspect that anything is wrong with your pet.

Chris Oliver, dog owner, Japanese Knotweed Solutions/Invasive Weed Solutions