Stalbridge & Marnhull Veterinary Surgery has recently seen several suspected cases of Alabama rot and is advising dog owners to be particularly vigilant in checking their dogs for the clinical signs described below.
What is Alabama rot?
Alabama rot is a disease that causes skin and kidney damage in dogs. Scientists still do not know the cause. There is no vaccination to protect against the disease and no treatment except supportive. Sadly, 80% of cases die from the disease. Dorset is one of the counties with the highest number of confirmed cases.
What are the signs of Alabama rot?
Skin signs – open sores on the feet, legs, lower body; and around and inside the mouth.
Kidney signs – lethargy, not drinking or drinking excessively, vomiting and diarrhoea.
What can I do to prevent Alabama rot?
While there is no way of preventing your dog from catching the disease, investigators suspect there is a link to walking in muddy, woodland areas or areas with running or standing water, particularly between November and March. Washing your dog after a walk, to remove any mud, may be a sensible precaution.
Whilst Alabama rot is a horrible disease, it is very rare, and we encourage you to continue exercising your dog.
David and Sally Scott
Stalbridge & Marnhull Veterinary Surgery