Reports of the deadly Alabama Rot in dogs are on the increase and owners are warned to be vigilant.
The disease was first found in the UK in 2012 and thus far the cause is unknown. Most dogs that have been identified as having the disease had been recently walked in muddy woodland areas.
The disease damages blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. Ulcers on the dog’s skin are then caused by the bloods clots in the vessels which also damages the lining and delicate tissues of the kidneys.
This subsequently causes kidney failure which can be fatal.
According to Vets4Pets there have been several confirmed cases in Leeds and one in Ripon. There have also been confirmed cased in Middlesbrough and other areas of North Yorkshire.
What to look out for
It’s important to remember that dogs or any age, breed or size can be affected. First you may notice lesions or ulcers on the skin. This could be red skin, or as an open ulcer or sore. The lesions will look out of the ordinary to vets in most cases. The sores are most commonly found on a dog’s lower body, legs or paws; however they may also be found on a dog’s face, mouth or tongue.
Loss of appetite, tiredness and vomiting are the signs of kidney failure to be looking out for. It has been found that dogs suffer from kidney failure usually around 3 days after the appearance of the skin lesion but it can be from 1 to 10 days.
If you notice signs of sore skin or ulcers on an area of their body that is close to the floor on your dog it’s a good idea to contact your vet immediately. The earlier this disease is caught and treated by a vet, the higher the chances of recovery.
What can be done to prevent Alabama Rot?
Because the cause of Alabama rot is unknown there is no definitive way of avoiding it and there is no vaccination to prevent it either.
Habitually check your dog daily for signs of skin lesions or lumps. With the suspected link with mud and woodland areas you should wash off you dog immediately after a walk, paying particular attention to the lower body.
Thankfully, the disease is not always fatal and the earlier it is caught, the greater your dog’s chances of survival.
If you are in doubt, give your vet a call. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Thanks to Dave Pearson for alerting us to this issue.