UK Dog Owners Warned of Rising Cases of Alabama Rot

by Lisa

Dog owners across the UK are being cautioned about the rising cases of Alabama rot, a concerning “flesh-eating” disease affecting canines. Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian at Petsure, offers crucial advice on both preventing the disease and recognizing its symptoms promptly.

Describing the condition, Dr. Wigfall explains that Alabama rot prompts the formation of clots in small blood vessels, initially manifesting as skin lesions and potentially leading to kidney failure in some unfortunate cases. Notably, the disease doesn’t discriminate based on a dog‘s age or breed, affecting any canine regardless of these factors.


Despite ongoing research, the exact cause of Alabama rot remains elusive, with potential links to bacteria such as E. coli and observations of connections between the disease and visits to muddy woodland areas.


To mitigate risks, dog owners are urged to avoid walking their pets in damp, muddy environments. Additionally, thorough cleaning and drying of a dog’s coat after woodland excursions are advised. Monitoring recent reports to steer clear of heavily affected areas is also recommended.


Given the absence of a vaccine, vigilant daily checks on dogs are emphasized. Careful scrutiny for any unusual lesions or bumps, particularly raised circular sores or skin ulcers with dark centres surrounded by bruising, is essential.


Moreover, monitoring changes in a dog’s behavior, including lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, increased urination, and stiffness, is crucial. If any concerning symptoms emerge, immediate consultation with a veterinarian is recommended.

Upon suspicion of Alabama rot or upon observing symptoms, prompt veterinary attention is vital. Untreated, the disease can rapidly progress to kidney damage within days of skin lesion appearance. Veterinarians typically conduct thorough examinations, including blood and urine sample analysis, and may administer antibiotics to prevent or treat wound infections. Intravenous fluids may also be administered to safeguard against kidney damage, necessitating the dog’s stay at the veterinary clinic for treatment.


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