Advice on Alabama Rot Disease.
What Is Alabama Rot?
Alabama Rot is caused by clots forming in the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys. The clots cause blockages which leads to damage in the affected tissue, in the skin this would mean ulcerations but in the kidney it can mean kidney failure.
Unexplained redness of the skin, sores or swelling of the skin are the first signs of the disease. The area affected is usually the paws or legs but has also been known on the body, face, tongue or mouth. Often a skin lesion does not mean it is Alabama Rot, although it can be difficult to distinguish between cuts, wounds, stings and bites so if in doubt please contact your veterinary surgery.
Even if the skin changes are down to the disease, many dogs will not develop the kidney problems and will make a full recovery. It is important to remember that most skin lesions will not be caused by this disease.
Remains unknown to this day but investigations continue into why this disease comes about. It is difficult to offer any preventative advice to stop a dog from getting Alabama Rot. You may want to think about bathing your dog after a wet and muddy walk but it is unknown if this is of any benefit as yet.
You should be thoroughly checking over your dog on a daily basis preferably after walks. Should you come across a skin lesion contact your vet immediately and they will be able to decide if the lesion needs covering and if antibiotics are needed to clear up the disease. Dogs who have already developed kidney failure from the disease will need intensive treatment and your vet may refer you to a specialist.
Is it Contagious?
Alabama Rot has not been seen in other animals and owners of affected dogs have not been affected by the disease.
For more information please visit the Alabama Rot webpage (see 'Internet Links').