Alabama Rot

Since November 2012, more than 150 dogs across the UK have been diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease called cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV). It is also referred to as Alabama rot because of similarities with a disease first seen in greyhounds in Alabama,USA in the 1980s. While the disease is worrying for dog owners, it’s important to remember that incidents of Alabama rot in the UK are low. 

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Alabama rot symptoms

The cause of Alabama rot is unknown and a definite diagnosis can only be made by analysing kidney tissue after death, however there are a number of symptoms of Alabama rot that can indicate potential presence of the disease. These include visible sores and lesions, usually on the legs, but also found elsewhere on the body, face and in the mouth. Some dogs can develop kidney failure, the symptoms of which include tiredness, loss of appetite and vomiting. 85% of cases where the kidney is affected prove to be fatal. The time between sores appearing and kidney failure can be between one and 10 days.

How is Alabama rot treated?

If your dog has symptoms as described above, it’s important you get them to the vet for a check up. While the low number of cases diagnosed in the UK suggests that your dog won’t have Alabama rot it’s better to take action as soon as you can. Your vet can prescribe appropriate treatments and monitor your dog to make sure its condition doesn’t worsen.

Alabama rot prevention

Since we don’t know what causes Alabama rot – and it appears to affect dogs of any breed, sex and age – it’s not possible to give specific advice on how to avoid it. However we do know that the majority of dogs treated for the disease were found to have been walked in muddy and/or woodland areas. Most cases have also been reported between November and May when the UK is usually at its wettest.
Alabama rot maps exist online that can help you track cases of the disease reported around the UK. Given that dogs have been infected across the country, there is no specific hot spot that you need to be aware of. 

While there’s no need to avoid your favourite walking routes, it could be a good idea to wash your dog after a walk if they’ve got mud on them. Checking your dog regularly for sores, ulcers, bites/stings or wounds can also help ensure you keep on top of any changes to their health.

Protection for peace of mind

Our pet insurance policies can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees due to injury or illness. We offer three types of policy:

  • Lifetime provides cover for new conditions or accidents that occur over the course of your pet’s whole lifetime as long as the policy is renewed.
  • 12 Month policy provides cover for the 12 months after a condition occurs as long as the policy remains in force.  Your pet has 12 months cover from the onset of each new condition and once the financial limit has been reached or 12 months has passed, whichever is sooner.
  • Accident Only covers your pet’s treatment in case of an accident up to the cover limit.

You can read more about our different policies here and get a quote to work out the most appropriate cover for your pet. 

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