Alabama Rot, also known as “Black Death”, has seen a resurgence of cases with at least 8 confirmed in the last couple of weeks. This now totals 81 cases across 27 counties since 2012. The most recent cases have been diagnosed from Manchester to Dorset so do not seem to be localised.
Sadly it has a high mortality rate with only 1 in 10 dogs surviving the disease if contracted. Alabama Rot causes significant damage to the blood vessels of the skin, resulting in skin necrosis. It also causes serious damage and in most cases failure of the kidneys.
This particular disease is a real threat, namely because it is unknown as to how it is transmitted. This makes it incredibly hard as to how we can advise on how to avoid your dog from contracting it. What we can do is explain the symptoms and urge all owners to be extra vigilant in checking their dogs thoroughly and regularly.
Monitor closely for any new lesions, ulcers or sores and get any checked out by a Vet straight away. These can appear in various places, including the tongue. They do, however, tend to be more commonly seen on the the paws and legs. This is one of the first and primary symptoms of the disease.
Other symptoms include;
- Loss of appetite to reluctance to eat
- Jaundice or discolouration in the eyes, gums or nostrils
- Vomitting or gagging in some later stages of the disease
PAUL’S POINTS: “Owners are advised to avoid taking their dogs for walks in muddy, wooded areas. Currently it is thought that this poses an increased risk as the environment provides the perfect setting for any bacteria to breed. All dogs should be throughly washed after walking in wooded or marshy areas”.