Alabama Foot Rot

Alabama Foot Rot is called that because it was first diagnosed in the US in Alabama and in greyhounds. It is a condition that is known only to affect dogs.

Alabama rot is also known as CRGV (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy). It is a very rare potentially life-threatening disease that blocks and damages the blood vessels in a dog’s skin and kidneys. Affected dogs will often develop ulcers or sores on the bottom part of their legs and will go on to develop kidney failure, which is often fatal.

What are the signs of Alabama rot?

  • Marks, sores or ulcers on the skin 
  • Skin ulcers usually appear on the legs or paws, but could appear anywhere on the body, including the head, tummy, around the mouth and nose, or on the tongue. These marks may appear as an area of redness or could look like a cut, bruise, sting or open sore. These signs could be caused by a large number of different things, but in a small number of cases this could be the first signs of Alabama rot.
  • Kidney failure Signs of kidney failure usually appears around three days after the marks on the skin, but can appear more quickly, or may sometimes take up to ten days.
    • Being off their food.
    • A change in drinking.
    • Being sick.
    • Not weeing as much.
    • Being tired.

If you’re concerned that your dog might have Alabama Rot it’s very important that you speak to your vet as soon as possible.

Alabama Foot Rot was first confirmed in the UK in 2012. It is a rare disease that is known to have affected around 150 dogs in the UK between November 2012 and March 2018. Reports of Alabama rot seem to be on the increase, which may be because more dogs are becoming affected, or that vets and owners are more aware of the condition. There is no known cause of the condition but many of the dogs that died from it had been walking in muddy woodland areas during winter and spring months, so it’s thought that environmental factors may somehow be linked to the cause.

There is no guaranteed way of preventing your dog from becoming affected. It is thought that there may be a link between walking dogs in muddy areas, so owners could:

  • Keep their dog away from very muddy areas.
  • Wash their dog after a walk if they get wet or muddy.

Spotting that your dog has the first possible early signs of Alabama rot and seeking veterinary treatment immediately could help with their chances of survival:

  • Be familiar with signs to watch out for (see above).
  • Check your dog’s body once a day for anything that’s different
  • Contact your vet straight away if you have any concerns.

The Daily Check Over


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