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Alabama Rot

Alabama Rot is a disease that can affect your dog’s skin and can also affect the kidneys in the most severe cases. We do not currently know the exact cause of the disease; which makes it difficult to avoid. Scientists have found that more dogs are affected in winter and spring. They have also found a link between wet, muddy and woodland walks and dogs being affected by the disease.

How does Alabama Rot affect my dog?

The disease starts as skin disease, usually in the form of ulceration, but it can look like many other skin diseases. Common sites for the skin lesions are the muzzle, tongue, feet and lower legs, and the abdomen. The disease causes small clots to develop in the blood vessels which causes affected areas of skin to die off.  In rare cases the disease can affect the kidneys. If the kidneys are affected your dog may become seriously ill and this form of the disease can be life threatening.

What signs should I look out for?

  • Skin ulceration on the muzzle, tongue, paws, legs or abdomen.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Your dog is no longer urinating or is urinating excessively.

Remember that there are lots of other reasons why your dog could be presenting with these clinical signs, but if your dog has skin lesions as well as any of the other signs this raises the suspicion of Alabama rot.

How can I stop my dog getting Alabama Rot?

We do not know the cause of Alabama Rot yet so it is difficult to avoid. The best thing to do is always wash your dog after any wet, muddy or woodland walk, especially in winter and spring.

If you are at all concerned please speak with your veterinary surgeon.