How to Spot it and what to do if you think your dog could have it. But first, let’s talk about what Alabama Rot is.
Alabama rot is a disease that affects the dogs blood vessels and kidneys. It is quite hard to spot and unfortunately, even harder to treat thus making early diagnosis very important.
FACTS: Alabama rot was first identified in the 1980’s in, yep, you guessed it, Alabama. It was detected in Greyhounds but once the initial flare up and the number of cases died down, there was no real clinical research done to try to determine what caused it. The first cases of the disease were detected in the UK in 2012 and since then, it has been on the rise. The most serious outbreak happened in Hampshire but there have been several reports of outbreaks in other Counties such as Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Devon, Dorset and even the tiny hamlet of Holwell in the Cotwolds. So far this year there have been over 30 confirmed cases of Alabama rot in the UK.
HOW IT’S SPREAD: It is not entirely clear how Alabama rot is spread but there has been some speculation that walking your dog in and around the countryside could be a major contributing factor. However, this said, the Forestry Commission have been quoted in saying, “Many thousands of dogs are walked in the countryside every day and it is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected”.
PREVENTION: There are no real sure-fire ways to protect your best friend from getting AR, however there has been some surmising that the due to the time scale of the outbreaks (occurring between November and June), it is advised to avoid walking your dog in muddy, wooded areas and to rinse off any mud from your dog’s paws as soon as possible and of course, keep a close eye on your dog’s so you know exactly where they have been. When walking our clients dogs, we prefer to err on the side of caution and avoid such area.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS: The first sign of Alabama rot is skin sores that have not been caused by physical injury.
- The sores can show up as lesions, a swelling of some kind or perhaps an open wound like an ulcer.
- Most commonly found below the knee or elbow but sometimes on the stomach or face
- This will cause localised hair loss and lots of licking.
- 2-7 days later, signs of kidney failure will start to appear (reduced appetite, fatigue and vomiting).
WHAT TO DO: If you think your dog may have contracted Alabama rot then time really is of the essence! So, if you think your dog may have it then get them to the vet immediately, high quality vet care early on is what is required here for your dog to have a chance of successful treatment.
CHECK YOUR LOCATION: http://www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot/