The disease – also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) -causes skin lesions and kidney failure in dogs. The symptoms have been linked to a condition seen in greyhounds in the US since the 1980s, although UK cases have been confirmed across a mix of breeds.

Researchers claim early intervention is vital as the survival rate of patients is 15%, even with aggressive treatment.

There has been one further confirmed case of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) over the past two months (Blandford Forum, Dorset) and there further confirmed cases between March and April (Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire). There have also been two suspected CRGV cases that have survived (from Berkshire and Hampshire).

Raising awareness
Initial cases were reported in November 2012 in the New Forest area. Cases have since been confirmed around the UK, with hotspots including Manchester, while 3 cases of Alabama Rot were confirmed in March in Cheshire, Nottinghamshire & Hampshire.

There are no common triggers for the disease. The difficulty is that you get lots of dogs that have skin lesions. These are not necessarily characteristic cuts and scrapes; they’re often quite unusual and if vets are seeing things like that, then Alabama Rot should start to be on the differential diagnosis list.

According to the research, skin lesions commonly appeared before signs of systemic illness such as lethargy, malaise, anorexia, vomiting and pyrexia.

Research is ongoing and it is hoped clinical evaluation will identify possible triggers of the disease and appropriate management of patients.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, in association with the Animal Health Trust, has launched a questionnaire for pet owners to spot correlation between affected and unaffected dogs.
To take part in the questionnaire, visit www.aht.org.uk/alabamarot

There is also a useful information sheet on http://www.andersonmoores.com/vet/news