Last month there was an outbreak of Alabama Rot (or CRGV) a few miles from where I live. The local vet diagnosed and confirmed this case. I decided to read up on it when a friend of mine asked if I’d heard of it as she was concerned for her dog. I decided to do a blog post on what I found.
What is CRGV?
The disease causes damage to blood vessels in the skin and kidney. It causes small blood clots to form in the vessels causing blockages and leads to damage of the tissue. In the skin, this causes ulceration. In the kidney, it causes severe kidney failure. It is unknown what causes Alabama rot – which is the most worrying bit! However, there is research being done.
Symptoms of CRGV?
Two thirds develop
- Loss of appetite
- Hypothermia (in later stages)
One third develop
One fifth or fewer develop
- Fever, in initial stages
- Red or purple spots on the skin (caused by bleeding from broken capillary blood vessels)
- Seizures (epileptic)
- Blood in stools
Rarely dogs develop
- Vomiting blood
- Large volume of urine
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of muscle coordination and other behavioural changes
If skin changes do occur and are caused by CRGV, many dogs will not develop kidney problems and will recover fully. The number of dogs affected with skin lesions and kidney failure remains low in the UK (56 confirmed cases across the UK between November 2012 and May 2015).
Is CRGV more common at this time of year?
Over the last 3 years, more CRGV cases have been seen between November – May than between June – October.
Where to avoid walking dogs to avoid Alabama rot?
This was one of the things my friend and I were discussing but after some research it appears there is no evidence to suggest any particular environment is more likely to cause CRGV. However, it is possible an environmental factor could cause Alabama rot but more evidence and research is needed to be sure.
Has anyone ever seen this disease before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.