What is Alabama Rot?
- There have been over 120 confirmed, around 22 unconfirmed and 35 suspected cases in the UK since December 2012.
- In 2017, there were 37 confirmed cases - that's over double compared to 2016.
How is Alabama Rot spread?
At the present, we just don't know.
It is suspected Alabama Rot spreads from muddy and wooded areas, and particularly areas with high levels of stagnant water - so it is possible that walking dogs in particular areas of the countryside could well be a contributing factor - although agencies such as the Forestry Commission England haven't closed off any areas of forests or advised that any specific sites as being dangerous.
On their website, the Forestry Commission England reassures dog owners by saying “Many thousands of dogs are walked in the countryside every day and it is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected.”
Whilst this is very true, and over 120 confirmed cases since 2012 is a very small percentage of the dogs walking in the UK every year, once infected, dogs can die within 3 days so the severity of the disease must not be underestimated, however rare it is.
Is Alabama Rot seasonal?
How do I prevent my dog from contracting Alabama Rot?
So, perhaps washing down your dog as soon as possible after walking through muddy woodland areas is a wise move - especially if they have entered stagnant water.
What are the symptoms of Alabama Rot?
The first signs you might notice if your dog has contracted Alabama Rot are lesions or ulcers on the skin. These could look like a patch of red skin, or appear as an open ulcer or sore.
If your dog is showing signs of sore skin or ulcers on an area of their body
that is close to the floor - which you know have not been caused by an injury -
contact your vet straight away.
Alabama Rot - Essential Information
- Alabama rot causes skin lesions and can cause fatal kidney disease
- The cause of Alabama rot is unknown, but most dogs that need treatment have been walked in muddy, woodland areas
- If you notice symptoms of Alabama rot, such as lesions, sores or ulcers on your dog’s legs, paws or face, contact your vet immediately