Alabama Rot : Mystery Dog Disease Hits Britain

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A mystery disease believed to be Alabama Rot (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy) is killing dogs around the country.

More than a 100 dogs have fallen ill up and down the country. The cause of the serious kidney disease remains unknown. Alabama Rot is a condition which has affected US greyhounds for almost 30 years. The disease which shows up as skin lesions on the dogs legs was unknown in the United Kingdom until 2012. The first reported cases were in Hampshire, but have now been confirmed all over the U.K. The outbreak has caused problems to a wide variety of different breeds of dogs. 103 suspected incidents have been reported by vets with 52 confirmed by post-mortem examinations. At least 30 dogs in England have been killed in less than 18 months.

Nottingham Post reports: Vets at the practice, in West Street, Hucknall, saw a border collie come into the surgery with a small sore on its pad. Sadly the canine passed away within a couple of days, although it was never confirmed it was from the deadly disease.

Laura Pearce, a veterinary surgeon at the practice, said: “No one is really sure of the cause. There is a potential link to the countryside but no real trigger has been identified.”

Pet owners are being warned to look out for lesions and cuts on their dogs’ legs, as vets continue to search for the cause of the disease. Ms Pearce said: “The symptoms can be quite difficult to pick up, so keep an eye out for a dog that is licking themselves more.”

The disease has affected dogs in the US since the 1980s, but it was unknown in this country until it started killing dogs in the New Forest in November 2012.

In the US the disease only affected greyhounds, but the British outbreak is causing problems to a wide variety of breeds including English springer spaniels, flat coated retrievers, whippets and Labradors, according to experts.

Vets have reported 103 suspected incidents across the country, but only 52 of those have been confirmed by post-mortem examinations.

Scientists are investigating whether the disease was caused by environmental factors, such as a bacteria or virus, or whether the problem was genetic.

There is no specific treatment for the disease.

The symptoms- The first symptom to look out for is skin lesions, which typically appear below the knee or elbow. They can sometimes show on the face, bottom of the chest or abdomen as well. When the kidney starts to fail the dog will usually show signs of tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting and fever.












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