1. ITV Report

Dog owners warned over rise of potentially fatal flesh-eating disease Alabama Rot

A case of Alabama rot Credit: Blue Cross

Dog owners are being warned to look out for symptoms of a potentially fatal flesh-eating disease in their pets after a surge of cases in the UK.

Known as Alabama Rot, symptoms begin with skin lesions on the paws or legs, which has led vets to advise that owners wash their pets after muddy walks.

Cases of Alabama Rot, which first appeared in the late 1980s in greyhounds in America, has spread to England in the last four years and is affecting all breeds, with eight recently confirmed cases in the Dorset area.

The skin disease, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, can lead to kidney failure.

Most cases are reported between November and May, according to Blue Cross for Pets.

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Girling & Bowditch Vets' full statement:

We have had a confirmed case of cutaneous & renal glomerular vasculopathy, otherwise known as Alabama Rot in the Ryme Intrisica /West Chelborough area.

This is a relatively new disease with confirmed cases throughout the country.

This disease often manifests as "skin lesions", please see photos below. Often there will be a scrape or ulcer to an area, often feet. There could be red areas with black centres often found on the legs and muzzle.

This disease process can go on to affect the kidneys and cause kidney failure with a high probability of fatality. There is no telling which dogs will be affected and whether if they develop skin lesions they will go on to develop kidney failure.

Unfortunately we do not know the cause but the advice is to wash off legs and tummies of dogs after a muddy walk. As far as we are aware it cannot be passed from one dog to another.

– Girling & Bowditch Vets
Dog owners are advised to wash their pets after a muddy walk Credit: PA

How to spot the symptoms of Alabama Rot:

  • Skin lesions appear as a distinct swelling or a patch of red skin
  • The sore, open wounds commonly appear below the elbow or knee
  • Within two to seven days of infection the dog will develop signs of kidney failure including vomiting, reduced hunger and tiredness

For more information on the disease and a map of confirmed cases, visit the Vets4Pets website