I’m sure you have all seen in the news that Alabama Rot has reared its ugly head again and has been evident in Wiltshire. Specifically, cases in Chippenham and Calne have been reported. Whilst this is not a new condition, it is vital that everybody remain vigilant, and check their dogs for any signs of this terrible disease.
I have posted some information below on signs to look out for. Don’t panic…..just be careful and keep you furry family members nice and safe…
What is Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot is a disease that causes damage to a dog’s blood vessels and the kidney. It is a mysterious disease which is hard to identify and sadly, very difficult to treat.
How many dogs have been affected in the UK?
Since 2012 in the UK there have been 98 confirmed, 22 unconfirmed and 35 suspected cases of Alabama dog rot in dogs. The most serious outbreak was in the New Forest region of Hampshire but there have also been reported cases in several other counties, with the most recent cases reported Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Devon, Dorset, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Worcestershire.
How is the disease spread?
There has been some speculation that walking dogs in particular areas of the countryside may be a contributing factor, but the Forestry Commission has yet to warn of any specific sites being dangerous, reassuring dog owners by 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.”
What signs should I look out for?
The first sign of Alabama Rot is skin sores that have not been caused by a physical injury. These sores can present as lesions, swelling, a patch of red skin, or may be open and ulcer-like. The sores are most commonly found below the knee or elbow or occasionally on the stomach or face. Usually, this will cause localised hair loss and the dog will begin licking the wound. These lesions will be followed – between two and seven days later – with outward symptoms of kidney failure: reduced appetite, fatigue, and vomiting.
Affected dogs will also develop signs of severe depression, loss of appetite and vomiting, quickly accompanied by acute injury to the kidneys.
What should I do if I think my dog has Alabama Rot?
The best outcomes seem to be achieved by catching it early and the animal receiving high-quality veterinary care. Whilst some infected dogs do survive the treatments of skin sores and kidney failure, unfortunately, many do not – it is estimated that treatment is only successful in around 20-30% of cases.
It is important, however, not to get overly worried by this as the percentage of dogs in the UK who have contracted this disease is truly minuscule. Though, what is vital, is that you understand the problem and know what to look out for, should your dog come into contact with it, as time plays a large part in successfully treating the disease.
A link to the full article is here: http://www.countryfile.com/news/alabama-rot-dog-disease-what-you-need-know
Stay safe x