Alabama rot warning to South Hams after suspected cases

A South Hams vet has issued a warning to dog owners following ‘suspicious’ cases of the deadly dog ​​disease

Selworthy Veterinary Group near Kingsbridge posted the warning in a statement on Facebook, advising pet owners to ‘stay alert and careful’.

Despite the warning, a spokesperson for the vets confirmed they had not yet had a case.

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In a statement on Facebook, a spokesperson for Selworthy Veterinary Group said, “We’ve had a few calls now and we believe we’ll hear more about the suspected rot from Alabama in our area.

“We don’t have any confirmed cases yet but we suggest that you remain vigilant and careful. If you have walked your dog, we recommend that you make sure you bathe your dog thoroughly afterwards.

“It’s important not to panic and we believe the best way to do that is to provide you with all the information you need.

“If you need/want to know more, we have created an information sheet with the help of the veterinary reference center who are undertaking the research on this.

“If you are particularly concerned, please call and make an appointment with a vet, but we suggest you call us first and we will send you our fact sheet on this.”

Speaking to Devon Live, Stuart of Selworthy Veterinary Group said: ‘I can confirm that we haven’t had any cases of rot from Alabama.

Additionally, veterinarian Ben Odbert of South Moors Vets in Kingsbridge advises dog owners to be vigilant, but not to panic.

Ben said: “Alabama rot (also known as cutaneous renal glomerular vasculopathy or CRGV) is a concern for many dog ​​owners, so it may be helpful to share some of the facts we know about this. topic.

There are many rumors about this because the cause is not fully understood, but we do know the following:

  • It is extremely rare. Only 280 cases have been diagnosed since 2012 (when it was first recognized in the UK).
  • The first sign of the disease is usually skin lesions. Usually, but not always, these are small, circular skin “wounds”. They are usually on the legs rather than the body, and there are usually more than one.
  • Of course, there are many reasons for skin damage, and the vast majority of them have nothing to do with Alabama rot, but it’s obviously worth having them checked out.
  • In cases of Alabama rot, skin signs are followed within days by acute kidney injury, which can be fatal. The main signs are vomiting, lethargy and refusal to eat. (And again, it should be noted that many other more common and less serious problems can cause these signs). Anemia and a lack of platelets (easily bruising) are other signs to watch out for.
  • One of the benefits of this period is that if your dog has had skin problems for more than 10 days and is still doing well, you can be pretty sure the skin problems are unrelated. with the Alabama rot.
  • There is no test for Alabama rot – it cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death. Your veterinarian can evaluate skin lesions and test for kidney disease, if necessary, to make sure Alabama rot is not present.
  • It’s a winter-spring problem. 90% of confirmed cases so far have been between November and May.
  • There has been much speculation about other factors that could increase Alabama’s risk of rot. For example, people talk about the places or parts of the country affected, or whether wooded or muddy areas are involved. There is no evidence that any of these factors are related to the risk of contracting Alabama rot.

I would advise dog owners to be vigilant, as always, but not to panic. I am not aware that the locally reported case has been definitely confirmed as Alabama Rot. It remains a very rare disease and there is no evidence that walking in particular environments increases the risk. “

Stuart of Selworthy Vets adds that Hampshire-based veterinary specialists at Anderson Moores are Alabama’s rot experts.

He has been leading research on this devastating disease since 2012 and collating information on all cases and confirmed case reports across the country.

According to a statement posted on the Anderson Moores website, CRGV, commonly known as “Alabama Rot”, is a disease of unknown cause that affects all breeds of dogs and does not discriminate by age or size.

In a statement on their website, a spokesperson said: “We are tracking every confirmed case of CRGV in the country. It is possible that there is an environmental trigger for this disease, although fortunately it is unusual that more than one dog in a particular area is affected.”

To view the CRGV map on the Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists website, click here.

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