You all may have seen recently that there has been a suspected case of Alabama Rot in the West Midlands. But what is it and how can we prevent it? We have written this short guide of information to help answer all those questions but most importantly, how to help keep your dogs safe. Please also watch our video where our vets explain what you should be looking out for.
What is it?
Alabama Rot is a disease that causes lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth which look like bites, sores, wounds or stings. Some dogs can also develop kidney failure, which can be life threatening. This disease is caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. Tiny blood clots then form in the blood vessels which blocks them and can then cause damage to the affected tissue. If this happens in the skin it causes ulceration but in the kidney it causes severe organ failure.
What to look out for.
The first signs to look for are skin lesions, ulcers or sores - not known to be caused by any other injury. These will appear on the paws, legs, body, mouth or tongue. The dog will lick these sores. Within days, dogs get the symptoms of acute kidney injury which is vomiting, reduced hunger and unusual tiredness.
How to prevent it.
Unfortunately, as the cause is still unknown, it is extremely difficult to give advice about the prevention but there are some measures that you can take which might help prevent your dog contracting it. Bath your dogs if they get muddy or wet, paws and lower legs especially. Regularly check over your dogs, especially if you have a long haired breed. Look for sore skin or lesions that might not have been there before.
What to do if you spot the symptoms.
If you spot any of the symptoms above please get your dog to the vet at quickly as possible. The quicker your dog gets medical help the more chance they have of surviving.
Alabama Rot is still extremely rare. We don’t want to panic any dog owners but feel that we should all know the signs and symptoms so if the worst should happen, you can get medical help as quickly as possible for your dogs. There are still no known causes of Alabama Rot which is what makes it extremely hard to know how to prevent and treat. Time is crucial, so if you are worried about your dog please get them to your vet as soon as possible.