Dog Health: Acute Kidney Injury 'Alabama Rot'

Author: 
Lisa Suswain
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Many of you will be aware from the updates on our Facebook page of the number of cases of 'Alabama Rot'. For those who are not familiar we wanted to inform you of the illness.

What is Alabama Rot?
This is the name that has been given to describe an acute kidney disease which has been affecting dogs from across the UK for over a year now. Alabama Rot has been known about since the 1980’s in the USA and although not the same as the disease in the States dogs who contract this mystery disease in the UK present in the same way as Alabama Rot.

What causes it?
The cause of the disease remains a mystery. Reports have come from dogs that have been walked in the countryside. However as there are thousands of dogs walked every day in the countryside it seems to only be affecting a very small number of dogs.

What should I look out for?
Typically dogs develop a lesion below the knee or elbow or face where no trauma has occurred, so checking for unexplained lesions/sores is the first step and should be checked out by your Vet. The lesions can present as swollen red marks or an ulcer. Within two to seven days signs of kidney failure develop,such as vomiting, reduced appetite and tiredness.

What should I do if I suspect Alabama Rot?
Contact your Vet immediately.

What is being done to stop this disease?
As the cause isn’t know it is very difficult for Vets and Scientists to know how to prevent it or treat it. Although there have been cases identified across the UK there are certain areas where more cases seem to stem from and it may be worth checking if there have been any cases in your area.

Please note this doesn’t mean you need to stop walking there – many cases have come from the New Forest yet lots of dogs walk there daily with no reaction. To date there have been over 30 cases across the UK.

For more information on Alabama Rot we recommend you visit the website of Anderson Moores who are at the forefront of this nasty disease and we will share their updates on our social media pages.

In addition dog owners across the UK are being asked to complete a questionnaire from the Animal Health Trust (even if your dog has not been affected) details of which can be found at the link below:

http://www.aht.org.uk/cms-display/aki-form.html

Owner of beloved Cocker Spaniel, Bailey and Golden Retrievers, Izzie & Lottie, Lisa Suswain is the Founder and Managing Director of  home dog boarding company Wagging Tails and a Kennel Club Assured Breeder