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Alabama Rot

December 2020

Some of you may have heard in the news about a disease known as Alabama Rot (also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy).


The cause of this strange disease is currently unknown, but sadly in some cases it has caused acute kidney failure, so research is underway to try investigate the disease so that spread can be prevented.

There has been no pattern in terms of breed disposition, sex of the animal or age of the affected animals but there is evidence pointing towards Alabama Rot being seasonal- 90% of cases have been indentified between November and May. Cases have been diagnosed from many different counties throughout the UK, sadly including Surrey. There is research currently being carried out into whether a bacteria or virus could be involved in the disease process. There is a potential link to dogs that have walked in muddy areas, but it is difficult to know if this a significant correlation as most dogs will have walked through mud in the colder months!


What are the symptoms of Alabama Rot?

  • Unexplained sores/redness or swelling of the skin, particularly on the legs
  • As the disease can sometimes lead onto kidney issues, some dogs with drink and urinate more than usual.


What should you do if you are concerned?

If you find an unexplained lesion on your dog, we always recommend booking an appointment and our vets can then investigate and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Alabama rot is still quite rare, and there are many different causes of skin lesions but early detection of the disease is paramount. If you require any further information on Alabama rot, or you are concerned about your pet, please phone us at Cape Vets on 01483 538990.


Catherine Hannah BVSc MRCVS

References: Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, Vets4Pets, The Veterinary Times (February 18, 2019).




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