An alarming outbreak of Alabama Rot, a potentially fatal flesh-eating disease in dogs, is sweeping across the UK, warns PetSure.

Veterinarian Dr. Corinne Wigfall from Petsure provides crucial insights into preventing and identifying the disease, offering valuable advice to concerned dog owners. Alabama rot is a disease that poses a significant threat to dogs, with the potential for fatal consequences. Dr. Corinne Wigfall highlights that the disease initiates clot formation in small blood vessels, initially manifesting as skin lesions and, in severe cases, leading to kidney failure.

Expert Tips for Prevention

Dr. Wigfall emphasises the importance of vigilance and offers practical tips to prevent the contraction of Alabama Rot:

1. Be Mindful of Walking Locations

The exact cause of Alabama rot remains uncertain, with potential links to bacteria like E.coli. To reduce the risk, dog owners are advised to avoid walking their pets in wet, humid, and muddy environments. Thoroughly clean and dry your dog’s coat, especially if they have been in woodland areas. Stay informed about reported cases to steer clear of affected areas.

2. Daily Health Checks

Given the absence of a specific vaccination for Alabama rot, daily health checks are crucial. Examine your dog for any skin lesions or bumps, particularly raised, circular sores and ulcers, which are primary symptoms. Focus on checking the face, legs, and paws, as these areas are most commonly affected. Look out for dark centers and bruises.

3. Monitor Behavioural Changes

Early detection is key. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behaviour, watching for signs such as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, increased urination, and occasional bodily stiffness. Any unusual behaviour should prompt a visit to the vet.

Spotting Symptoms and Seeking Treatment

Dr. Wigfall underscores the significance of prompt action if symptoms or lesions indicative of Alabama rot are observed. The vet will conduct a thorough examination, inquire about observed symptoms, and may perform blood or urine tests. Treatment may include antibiotics to address wounds and, if kidney damage is suspected, immediate intravenous fluids to safeguard the kidneys.

The urgency of seeking professional care cannot be overstated. While Alabama rot is easily treated in the beginning stages, it can progress rapidly within days of skin lesions appearing, and lead to potentially fatal kidney failure. Dr. Corinne Wigfall urges dog owners to remain vigilant, perform regular health checks, and act promptly if any symptoms are detected.