What is Alabama Rot?
Alabama rot is a disease which damages blood vessels within the kidney and skin. The disease causes blood clots to form in the vessels, damaging their lining and delicate tissues within the kidneys, and sadly can lead to kidney failure which can be fatal. It can also cause ulceration on the dog’s tongue. Alabama rot is also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), and was first detected by in the 1980s in the USA.
This disease is still very rare within the UK, and we advise dog owners to seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions. Within a twenty mile radius of Milton Keynes, there has only been one confirmed case since 2014. However, if you are traveling with your dogs, areas of higher case records include Berkshire, Cornwall, County Durham, New Forest, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Northern Ireland.
What causes Alabama Rot?
Unfortunately the disease can affect any dog of any breed, age or size, and the majority of cases have recently been walked in muddy or woodland areas.
There seems to be more cases reported during the months November to May than there is between the months of June to October, therefore winter and spring time is more dangerous to your dog.
What are the symptoms?
Most commonly, the skin lesions are seen below the knee or elbow, and are a symptom of the disease rather than being a wound from injury. There may be a patch of red skin or an ulcerated area, and there may be swelling around the lesion. In the following two to seven days, the affected dogs have developed signs of kidney failure, including vomiting, lethargy and reduced appetite. This disease will not be the only cause of skin lesions or kidney failure, often there will be another cause.
However, prompt diagnosis and treatment is imperative for any dog with Alabama Rot, but without knowing what causes the disease, it is also difficult for us to be able to give you specific advice on prevention or where to walk your dog.
How to prevent Alabama Rot?
We advise checking your dog over for skin lesions regularly and monitor for any signs as mentioned above. We also suggest bathing your dogs after their walks to remove any mud. Alabama rot is unfortunately not a disease we can vaccinate against at present, and it is not thought to affect cats or rabbits.
We will update this blog if any new information becomes available for this disease.
This month is a celebration of our animal friends. National Pet Month is a registered charity with the aim for promoting responsible pet ownership. They also aim to bring together pet lovers from all walks of life.
THE AIMS OF NATIONAL PET MONTH
- Promote responsible pet ownership
- Increase the awareness of the roles of pet care specialists
- Raise the awareness of the benefits of owning a pet
- Highlight the value of assistance and working companion animals
During Easter, there are plenty of treats around the household. Some of those treats are toxic to your pets and we advise to be aware of potential dangers.
EASTER EGGS – Easter eggs contain cocoa solids which contains Theobromine – this is poisonous to animals. All chocolate whether it is white, milk or dark can contain Theobromine. If you pet has eaten some chocolate, please make sure you bring the chocolate wrapper when you visit your vet.
GRAPES – Take care to keep grapes away from your pet. Some individuals may not show immediate signs, poisoning can occur with as little as 8 grapes in a Yorkshire Terrier.
HOT CROSS BUNS – Raisins, currants and sultanas can be poisonous to animals so please take care to keep cakes and buns away from your animal.
MOULD – Innocent looking mould on food in rubbish bins and sacks can contain toxins which will attack an animal’s nervous system. Small amounts of these mycotoxins can cause tremors and seizures.
DAFFODILS – Many bulbs, plants and house plants can be poisonous to dogs. If you are unsure of the name of the plant and don’t have a label, ensure you bring part of the plant to try and identify it.
BONES – Small & cooked bones especially from poultry can fragment into pieces with very sharp edges when chewed by dogs. If swallowed, these can then become stuck in the digestive tract and may require surgery to remove.
ONIONS – All of the onion family including shallots, leeks and chives whether they are dried, cooked or raw can be poisonous to animals. Always check the packaging if your pet has eaten something.
If your pet ingests a toxin, we advise you contact your vet for advice and keep the product packaging to hand if they have any questions.
So this year, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group are eager to organise a charity calendar (charities are yet to be confirmed). Therefore we would like your best pet photo (must be excellent quality). We are aiming to get as many pets as possible on the calendar and we also need seasonal pictures:
- Spring time
We look forward to seeing all your photos.
FLEAS are a small, wingless insects, just a few millimetres long with hind legs modified for jumping. The majority of the flea life cycle will occur off the animal, but can easily occur in the home. The fleas lay their eggs on the animal, which then fall off into the environment (e.g. onto bedding or carpets). Only 5% of the flea population is actually on the animal, the remaining 95% is in the environment in form of eggs, larvae and pupae.
HOW IS YOUR PET AFFECTED?Fleas will bite cats, dogs, rabbits and even humans. You may notice your pet is scratching, licking or biting a lot, has unusual red patches of skin, signs of hair loss or flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like tiny black dots and can be identified by a simple quick test:
- Take a piece of paper towel and dampen
- Rub gently on your pets fur where you suspect there is flea dirt
- If the black dots change to a reddish-brown colour – FLEAS ARE PRESENT!
HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST FLEAS?Treat your pet with a prescription flea product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. These can be in a variety of forms, such as spot-ons, collars or tablets. Speak to our staff about our Pet Health Care plans to make sure your pet gets the best prevention at the most affordable prices or find out more here. With a heavy infestation of fleas, don’t forget to treat the environment as well. Remember those fleas can live in bedding, sofas, beds, carpets, car, etc. so it’s just as important to treat the home as it is the pet!
TICKS are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush passed. They are eight legged and are composed of two body sections. Their highly developed mouthparts allow them to pierce a pet’s skin and feed on the animal’s blood, sometimes causing reactions at the site of attachment. Severe infestations can lead to anaemia in young animals. Ticks are associated with Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST TICKS?Prevent Ticks by using a prescription tick product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. Products can be in a variety of forms such as collars, tablets or spot on treatments. Protection against Ticks is now included within our Pet Health Plan, find out more here.
If you have any questions about these parasites or prevention, our staff would be happy to help.