CRGV – commonly referred to as Alabama Rot
There’s been a fair amount of media coverage recently about a rising number of dogs affected by the life-threatening disease Alabama Rot.
What we are seeing in the UK at the moment is a rise in the number of cases for a disease known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV). The symptoms for CRGV are very similar in nature which is why it is being associated with, or referred to as, Alabama Rot.
What is CRGV?
Dogs with CRGV form blood clots in the vessels of the skin and filtering part of their kidneys. This means that dogs get skin lesions and in some cases go on to develop kidney disease after those lesions appear.
What are the symptoms and what should I look out for?
The first thing you will notice are little ulcer like lesions, most usually on the lower part of the limbs, but they can affect the belly and their tongues.
Is my dog at risk from CRGV?
All breeds of dog can be affected by this disease and so far the areas of the UK with confirmed cases are West Sussex, Somerset, Wiltshire, Greater Manchester, Devon, Rhondda, Powys and Gloucestershire, although there have also been fatalities in Berkshire and Derbyshire.
At this time we are still learning about the causes of CRGV. It has been widely reported that dogs are picking up infection from woodlands and muddy walks but there is no proven links that this is the case. It is however always advisable to wash off any mud after a walk and make a daily check of paws, belly and mouth for any signs of unusual marks, bumps or irritation.
What should I do if I suspect my dog has CRGV?
It is vital that you see your vet as soon as possible after noticing any changes in the skin or mouth of your dog.
Usually 3-4 days after these lesions appear, dogs will start to develop kidney failure. This can however be between 1-9 days after the ulcers appear.
The sooner you can get your dog to the vet the sooner they can start to monitor things like kidney function and get a treatment plan in place if the kidneys are showing signs of distress and the better the prognosis for your dog.
This disease has an alarming 80% fatality rate once kidney failure starts to happen.
What is the treatment for CRGV?
As little is currently known about the disease, there is no vaccinations that we can give either in a preventative form or as treatment that we can guarantee a cure. CRGV is treated as we would expect to treat a dog with kidney failure and the earlier that treatment can be administered, the better the outcome.