Alabama Rot or CRGV
What is it and how do you keep your pet safe?
- Alabama Rot or CRGV - What is it and how do you keep your pet safe?
Alabama Rot or CRGV - What is it and how do you keep your pet safe?The Dog Blog General Posts 02.01.2019
Alabama rot is a disease that was first observed in Alabama, USA (hence the name) during the 1980s. Dogs suffering from this disease experience damage to the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. Blood clots forming in the blood vessels of these tissues, caused further damage resulting in lesions and ulcers on the skin, and unfortunately kidney failure which can prove fatal. Due to these symptoms, the disease is often referred to cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV).
What causes CRGV?
The original disease characterised in the 1980s was found to be caused by the toxins produced by a species of bacteria known as Escherichia coli. Affected animals in the recent outbreak of CRGV in the UK however, show no evidence of this strain of E. coli or the toxins it produces, suggesting another (currently unidentified) cause. A contender for which is another species of bacteria known as Aeromonas hydrophila, which is found in watercourses and soil. A. hydrophila is an opportunistic pathogen that has been shown to cause a similar condition in fish and amphibians.
In light of this, and since many of the cases have occurred shortly after walks in muddy areas, some vets are speculating that muddy woodlands may harbour the source of infection. Although it should be noted that this is only a theory, as the cause is yet to be identified.
How do dogs contract CRGV?
With no defined cause for the recent outbreak of CRGV, the route to infection is also currently unknown, however it is most likely that CRGV is caused by either ingestion of contaminated material or physical contamination through an open wound on your dog’s paws or lower legs.
It should be noted that most cases occur between November and June (when the ground is often wet and sodden).
How can you protect you dog from CRGV?
Until the cause of the recent CRGV outbreak is determined there is no way to guarantee your dogs safety however, it is possible to lower the risk:
- Regularly check your dog's paws for any cuts, avoiding muddy areas until they have healed.
- Ensure your dog is visible at all times during walks so that you can ensure that nothing untoward is ingested.
- Thoroughly wash your dog after muddy walks, checking their limbs and paws for any cuts or scratches.