Cases of Alabama Rot have been reported in London, and here is everything you need to know about the deadly disease.

Reports of the currently incurable disease have come from the Wandsworth and Croydon area, so what do you need to look out for?

What is Alabama rot?

Alabama rot is a disease that is fatal in 9 out of 10 dogs, it can affect any dog and is not specific to a type. In the last five years there has been 56 confirmed cases of Alabama rot across the UK.

Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV or Alabama rot) cause lesions on skin and occasionally in the mouth. These lesions can look like bites, sores, wounds or stings, but some dogs can develop life threatening kidney failure.

CRGV is a disease caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney, which causes tiny blood vessels, which can ultimately lead to damage of the affected tissue. In the skin this causes ulceration, however in the kidney it can lead to severe organ dysfunction.

What symptoms should you look out for?

The first symptoms of Alabama rot are skin lesions, ulcers or sores, not caused by any known injury. The dog will lick at the sores. Within days, dogs get symptoms of acute kidney injury (vomiting, reduced hunger or unusual tiredness).

What causes Alabama rot?

At the moment the causes remain unknown by investigations are ongoing. Many possible causes, such as common bacterial infections and exposure to toxins, have been ruled out.

Therefore there is also no vaccine and no way of preventing it.

What should I do if I think my dog has symptoms?

If you see your dog licking any skin lesion then you should take them to the vet without delay, even if you have to call the out of hours vet. They will then confirm if it is indeed Alabama rot. The quicker the treatment can get started, the more likely they are to survive. Because it is so rare, most vets will never have seen it, if so ask to be referred to Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialist.

Why is it called Alabama rot?

Put simply, this disease was first seen in Alabama, USA in the 1980s.