Flesh eating dog virus Alabama Rot kills Rugby pet as animal lovers warned
The deadly disease Alabama Rot has claimed the lives of six more dogs – including one from Rugby confirmed following tests by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists.
The 109 cases of Alabama Rot, clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), are spread across 30 counties in the UK.
David Walker, the UK’s leading expert on the condition, from Anderson Moores, said: “Although we are working hard to find out the cause of Alabama Rot, it is currently still unknown, which makes the reappearance of the disease concerning.
“It’s always desperately sad when we confirm new cases; however, it’s important that dog owners remain calm, but vigilant, particularly during the next few months.
“The first sign of the disease that is normally seen is a skin sore that isn’t caused by a known injury. Most commonly these sores are found on the lower half of the leg and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin or are open and ulcer-like.
“While there is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease, there is a very useful guide available online to help people understand where in the UK confirmed cases have been found and advice on how to spot signs.
“Any concerned dog owners should visit www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot/ for advice and a map of confirmed cases.”
Dr Kim Stevens, of the Royal Veterinary College, who is carrying the research said it is expected to conclude by the end of the year, but would not identify the specific cause of the disease. She said: “This research is designed to look for geographical patterns, as well as environmental and climatic risk factors.
“An obvious pattern that we can see is linked to seasons, with the vast majority of cases occurring between November and March, and limited cases over the summer.
“ We hope our ongoing research, alongside the likes of Anderson Moores and Vets4Pets’ work will take us one step closer to finding the cause of this nasty disease.”
He said: “Unlike the Alabama Rot that affected greyhounds in America, the disease in the UK does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog.
“Treatment is supportive, but is only successful in around 20 percent of cases, which is why we’re encouraging all dog owners to use the online interactive guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition.
“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores. Such treatment has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering from the condition.
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.
“This will help build knowledge about the disease and also give a dog the best chance of survival.
“However, it’s encouraging to see so many people from different organisations and fields of science coming together to find out more about Alabama Rot, and hopefully find the cause.”