What is Alabama Rot?

What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama Rot is a potentially fatal disease which damages dogs’ blood vessels. This can cause skin sores and sometimes goes on to cause kidney failure (when the kidneys stop working and can’t clean the blood properly).

The disease only affects dogs. It seems to be more common in spring and winter and is often reported in dogs that have been walked in a muddy or woodland area.

Since the disease was first detected in 2012 in the UK the number of cases of Alabama dog rot in dogs has risen.

The signs and symptoms to watch out for in your dog

Cases of Alabama Rot have been reported throughout the UK. It’s a very serious illness so it’s worthwhile for all dog owners to be able to spot the symptoms.

Our vets have lots of advice on how to spot the early signs of the illness and the steps you can take to protect your dog if the disease has been reported in your area.

If you think your dog is showing signs of Alabama Rot, speak to your vet immediately.

Alabama Rot causes tiny clots to form in dogs’ blood vessels in their skin and kidneys. These clots can cause:

  • ulcers and sores on the dog’s paws, legs, face or mouth
  • kidney failure.

Symptoms of kidney failure include:

  • being sick
  • not wanting to eat
  • lethargy (sleepiness and having much less energy than usual).

If your dog seems under the weather and has any of these symptoms, speak to your vet right away.

Not all dogs who have skin sores go on to have kidney problems but early treatment by a vet is really important. If you notice any sores on your dog, speak to your vet immediately to rule out Alabama Rot.

How can I stop my dog getting Alabama Rot?

There’s been lots of research into Alabama Rot but vets still aren’t sure what causes the disease or how to prevent it. However, there are some simple things you can do to that may protect your dog or help you spot the symptoms early:

  • If Alabama Rot has been reported near you, avoid walking your dog in muddy woodland areas.
  • Washing any mud off your dog after a walk might help, although this hasn’t been proven. It won’t harm your dog and might help keep your mind at ease if you’re worried about the disease.
  • Check your dog after every walk for signs of redness or sores, especially on their paws, legs and face.

If you notice any health problems with your dog or a change in their behaviour, speak to your vet.


Source: PSDA
Image: Helena Lopes-Unsplash