Dog owners are being urged to stay vigilant as two more cases of deadly Alabama Rot have been confirmed in the UK.
The disease – that can be fatal – has killed five dogs throughout the UK since the start of this year.
Alabama Rot is a flesh-eating virus which can lead to sores and even kidney failure.
Specialist in small animal internal medicine, David Walker, leads a team at veterinary specialists Anderson Moores and is the UK’s foremost authority on the disease.
The expert told The Mirror. “We’re very sad to confirm two further cases of CRGV. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the time of year when cases are most commonly identified.
“It is understandably worrying for dog owners; however, I must stress this disease is still very rare.
“We’re advising dog owners across the country to remain calm but vigilant and to seek advice from their local vets if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.”
But what are the symptoms, when should you seek attention from a vet and are there ways to treat the disease?
Here is everything you need to know.
What is Alabama Rot?
Also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGC), Alabama Rot is a rare but potentially dangerous disease that affects dogs.
The illness causes damage to blood vessels in a dog’s skin which can then lead to skin sores.
In severe cases, the disease can affect vessels in the kidneys which can then lead to kidney failure.
The disease is most common in the winter and spring with cases usually reported between the months of November and May.
Experts remain unclear as to what actually causes Alabama Rot.
The illness is pretty rare that is is quite difficult to study and understand.
Alabama Rot can affect dogs of any age and of any breed.
What are the symptoms of Alabama Rot?
According to the PDSA, symptoms of Alabama Rot in dogs include:
- Skin ulcers/sores
- Most commonly on the leg, foot, nose or tongue
- Usually painful, red, raised and circular
- Sometimes have a dark or black center
- Often surrounded by swelling and/or bruising
- Limping or stiffness
- loss of appetite
- Vomiting/Diarrhoea (sometimes bloody)
- Drinking/peeing more
- Red dots/blood blisters on the skin
When should you contact your vet?
It is important to contact your vet if you spot any wounds on your dog – especially if they have been walking somewhere known for Alabama rot of if they seem unwell.
Alabama rot is very rare so it is unlikely that your dog is infected even if they are showing some of the symptoms listed above.
However, it is important to get your dog checked out by a vet if you are worried.
Treatments for Alabama Rot
The treatments offered to your dog will depend on their symptoms and the severity of the disease.
If your dog has skin wounds, they will likely need pain relief while their wounds heal as well a antibiotics to treat and infections.
A buster collar may be required to stop your dog licking or nibbling their wounds.
If the disease has affected your dog’s kidneys then they are likely to need intensive care.
This will involve a hospital stay and a fluid drip.
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