Alabama Rot & Paw Behaviour Houndy Boundy’s!
As you may be aware there is a disease slowly spreading across the UK that affects dogs. This disease is commonly known as Alabama rot, if you are not aware of it then please do your research as it has been popping up sporadically across the counties.
What is Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot is the common name for diopathic renal glomerular vasculopathy and is believed to be caused by a rare form of E.coli.
It was first identified in the US in the 1980, and can lead to the dog literally starting to fester and rot, resulting in kidney failure, loss of appetite, tiredness and vomiting. Without urgent treatment, dogs develop a raging fever and finally die.
Alabama rot symptoms include:
- Skin lesions – sometimes circular and about the size of a five pence piece, and often with defect in the skin like an ulcer.
- They are often on the lower leg, below the knee and elbow but can be found on the stomach and tongue/muzzle.
- Kidney (renal) failure – vomiting, tiredness and not eating.
These are very vague symptoms and can represent a number of other conditions.
How is it caught?
It is unknown what is causing this disease but it is thought to come from woodland and/or wet, muddy, leafy, areas, it is not thought to be plant based. Around half a dozen dogs have died and others fallen ill but treated successfully in Wiltshire, Monmouthshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire as well as other parts of the UK with more cases being reported each month. The earlier detected – the more successful treatment can be.
Advice: It is advised to avoid these types of walks where possible. Washing your dogs’ legs after each walk may help but is not a guarantee that all is well. Check your dog over daily for any possible problems and seek urgent veterinary treatment if in any doubt.
How does it affect your dogs group walks?
Obviously in this line of work it is impossible for me to avoid wet areas! So until the drier weather appears I am offering street walks and or garden visits for those of you that don’t want the normal group walk service.
In the meantime for those of you that wish to continue with the group walks I am going to use non-woodland fields around Twigworth (but this is still wet) and Haresfield beacon as my main walk routes because it is has stone under the landscape making the ground not so boggy. I will dry your dogs’ off after each walk as usual but please check them daily for any symptoms. If you would like to leave a hosepipe or bowl of water and some towels out I would be happy to wash them off as well.
Obviously I cannot take responsibility for any dog that becomes ill as a result of walking them. This disease has an unknown cause and could be coming from anywhere, all we can do is the best we can to minimize the risks.
So in summary, the risk of catching this disease is low, but awareness is crucial so that symptoms can be detected early and hopefully treated before kidney failure develops.
Please stay safe everyone!