Alabama Rot

Posted: 5th February 2020

Alabama Rot in dogs: what is it and how to prevent it

The tabloid press are calling it ‘the dogs’ black death’ – but what are the facts about Alabama Rot, and how can you stop your dog from getting it?

Let's take a closer look.

What is Alabama Rot?

Also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), Alabama Rot is a serious, often fatal condition that’s becoming more and more common in the UK. It affects dogs of any age, size and breed.

Alabama Rot causes damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys, which leads to tissue death and organ failure.

The condition originally made its way to the UK from the US in the mid-1980s, where it was first spotted in Greyhounds at racetracks in Alabama. While the disease has all but died out in the US, it’s become a bigger problem in the UK.

Is my dog at risk?

Alabama Rot is still relatively rare in UK dogs. There have been 191 confirmed cases since 2012 - 43 of which occurred in 2018, with a further 16 reported in 2019.

Due to the unforgiving nature of the disease, however, it’s vital that dog owners are able to recognise its symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of Alabama Rot in dogs

The disease causes oozing, open sores to appear on the skin, most commonly of the lower leg. These sores appear as red, ulcer-like patches.

Around 3-5 days later, affected dogs can display signs of kidney failure:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

How to keep my dog safe?

Experts are yet to pinpoint the cause of Alabama Rot, and there’s no vaccination against it.

As an owner, your best course of action is to remain vigilant, and to contact your vet immediately if you spot any unexplained sores or lesions on your dog’s skin. Washing your dog's paws and legs after muddy walks can also help - many believe that dogs pick up Alabama Rot on their paws and legs when running through mud. If you're walking on a wet or rainy day, do your utmost to stay on clean, dry land wherever possible.

The earlier Alabama Rot is caught, the higher your dog's chances of making a good recovery.

Known cases at My Family Pet Affiliated practices:

Plymouth | 2 cases
March 2018

Wellington | 2 cases
May 2017

January 2018

January 2018

May 2018

Lincoln | 2 cases
December 2017 | May 2018

Atherton | 2 cases
2015 | January 2018

February 2018

March 2016


Alabama Rot

Need more info?

For more information on Alabama Rot in dogs, contact Manor Vets:

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West Midlands
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Tel: 0121 422 5411

Fax: 0121 422 6511


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