Vets are stepping up research into the deadly dog disease Alabama Rot as the number of confirmed cases continue to rise throughout the UK.
David Walker, from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, the UK’s leading expert on the condition, announced the first Alabama Rot ‘conference’ will be held in May with scientists from human medicine, alongside vets from academia and private practice teaming up to discuss ways to learn more about the disease.
The new cases take the total number of confirmed cases to 94 since the disease was first detected in the UK in 2012.
To collate accurate data about the disease, Anderson Moores is asking all vets in the UK and Ireland to contact them if they see a dog they suspect has Alabama Rot.
The concern among vets in the UK is that, unlike the Alabama Rot that affected greyhounds in America, the disease does not seem to target any specific breed, age, sex or weight of dog. Symptoms include skin lesions, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and vomiting. If a dog becomes infected the best outcome will come from early and intensive veterinary care, which has resulted in some dogs successfully recovering.
Also known as cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), Alabama Rot leads to skin lesions, kidney failure and death but the cause remains unknown.
The 11 cases confirmed so far this year are from Dublin, Penkhull in Staffordshire, Bearwood, West Chelborough and Ensbury Park in Dorset, Cullompton in Devon, Stalybridge in Greater Manchester, Crewe in Cheshire, Caldicot in Monmouthshire, Claverdon in Warwickshire and Malvern in Worcestershire.
Treatment is supportive, but is only successful in around 20 percent of cases, which is why dog owners are being encouraged to use the online guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition.
The first sign 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.
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately,” said Dr Huw Stacey.
For more information visit http://alabamarot.co.uk/