ALABAMA ROT AND LYME DISEASE:

ALABAMA ROT AND LYME DISEASE: TWO RARE DOG DISEASES ON THE RISE IN THE UK

September 15, 2016

ALABAMA ROT AND LYME DISEASE: TWO RARE DOG DISEASES ON THE RISE IN THE UK

“New data indicates that Alabama Rot, a serious disease affecting dogs, may be taking a foothold in the UK and that Lyme disease, a bacterial disease spread by ticks, is on the rise, too. The risk to your dog from either of these remains very low, but it is nonetheless important to understand the symptoms and be able to recognize the warning signs should your pet come into contact with either, potentially life-threatening conditions.”    Read More 

Alabama Rot
What is it?

“Alabama rot is the common term for cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV). It is a mysterious disease which is hard to identify and sadly, very difficult to treat. Since December 2012, there have been 78 confirmed cases in the UK, including 14 in 2016 so far.”   Read More 

An unknown cause
“As mentioned, the causes of Alabama Rot are still unknown and we don’t yet know if it can pass between dogs, either. What we do know, is that the strain afflicting the UK is not limited to any particular breed, body weight, sex or age, and the disease affects the skin and kidneys.”  Read More 

How to prevent it
“There are no specific steps you can take to prevent your dog from contracting the disease, but there is some evidence of seasonal fluctuation, with most cases appearing between November and June.”   Read More 

Know the signs and check your dog
“Importantly, you should always keep a lookout for the first sign of Alabama Rot, which is skin sores that have not been caused by a physical injury. These sores can present as lesions, swelling, a patch of red skin, or may be open and ulcer-like. The sores are most commonly found below the knee or elbow or occasionally on the stomach or face. Usually, this will cause localised hair loss and the dog will begin licking the wound. These lesions will be followed – between two and seven days later – with outward symptoms of kidney failure: reduced appetite, fatigue, and vomiting.”   Read More 

Lyme disease
What is it?
“Lyme disease, conspicuous when contracted by humans because of its bullseye rash, can also be deadly to dogs although the primary symptom is lameness. There has been a 560% increase in cases of the disease affecting dogs, with 99 reported in 2015 alone. These reported cases are thought to be just the tip of the iceberg, though. NHS data also reveals that the number of diagnosed cases amongst people has increased fourfold between 2001 and 2013, with, at least part of the increase, being attributed to the warmer winters we are experiencing in the UK.”   Read More 

Preventing Lyme disease
“There are a number of vaccines available for dogs that claim to prevent or reduce the risk of Lyme disease, however, some vets have criticised the efficacy of these and do not recommend them. You should always seek your vet’s advice specific to your dog and circumstances.”   Read More 

If your dog is diagnosed
“Lyme disease is diagnosed with a blood test and requires a relatively simple treatment of antibiotics lasting between 14 and 30 days. However, it is possible for your dog to relapse after this treatment and they should be monitored carefully. Where the disease causes acute pain, such as in joints, your vet may recommend a pain relieving treatment in addition to the antibiotic.”   Read More 

A small but growing risk
“Both Lyme disease and Alabama rot affect a very small number of dogs each year, but the number of reported cases is growing. The risks for Lyme disease are mostly between late Spring and Autumn when the tick population is highest, so now is the time to be particularly vigilant. If left untreated, Lyme disease can be a serious and debilitating condition which can cause long term problem.”    Read More