What is Alabama rot? Signs and symptoms of the dog disease

For a nation of animal lovers, the Alabama rot disease can be a concern for many dog owners. But what exactly is it and how can you spot if your dog is affected?

Alabama rot is a killer disease that proves fatal in nine out of 10 dogs. It was first reported in the United States in the 1980s, while the first case discovered in the United Kingdom was in December 2012.

The disease, which causes damage to a dog’s blood vessels, is also known as Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV).

But what do you need to look out for?

Where does the name originate from?

The disease was originally discovered in Alabama, US, among greyhounds.

What are the symptoms?

There are several signs a dog may have the Alabama rot disease. These can include skin lesions appearing on legs, body, mouth or tongue. This sometimes leads to affected dogs developing acute kidney failure. According to alabamarot.co.uk, ulcers or sores are other common symptoms.

[Read more: 6 common plants that are poisonous to your pets]

How can I prevent my dog getting Alabama rot?

While there are no specific steps for prevention, most cases have been reported to occur between the months of November and June.

Alabama rot is suspected to spread from muddy, wooded areas and dog owners are advised to wash off their pets as soon as they can after walking them.

Owners are also advised that although there is still a low chance of survival, dogs stand a better chance of surviving Alabama rot if signs are detected early and a vet is alerted.