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Alabama Rot: The Dog Illness You Need to Look Out For


What is Alabama rot in dogs?

Alabama rot, also referred to as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), is a condition that affects dogs, resulting in damage to their skin and kidneys. This damage manifests as visible sores on the skin and can cause severe organ dysfunction, eventually leading to kidney failure.

If you haven’t got pet insurance, this is exactly the sort of thing you will need it for. Our friends at Perfect Pet could cover you for this type of unexpected condition and save you having to pay a hefty vet bill out of pocket. Get a quote today!

What causes Alabama rot in dogs?

A brown dog standing on top of a muddy road, looking towards the camera.

Despite ongoing research, the precise cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown. Alabama rot works by damaging the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. This can lead to severe organ malfunction and, in worst cases, kidney failure[1].

In December 2012, isolated cases were reported from across the UK, primarily amongst dogs that were walked in rural, wet and muddy areas. Since then, the disease has led to 318 deaths of dogs in the UK. 10 of which have happened in 2024[2]. Most cases have occurred during the winter and spring months, and fewer instances are reported during the summer.

Unpredictable illnesses like this show us why it is so important to make sure your pet is protected with the right pet insurance! Perfect Pet Insurance offers a range of pet insurance products so you can get the best care for your pet without worrying about any unforeseen expenses.

What are the symptoms of Alabama rot in dogs?

Typical symptoms to look out for include skin lesions such as sores, swelling, or red patches. These usually appear below the knee or elbow and sometimes on the face or torso.

Dog owners should be aware of changes in appetite, increased drinking, vomiting, and excessive tiredness. If you spot any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your dog to the vet immediately. Don’t forget to take out Pet insurance to help with paying any future vet bills. 

What can I do to prevent my dog catching Alabama Rot?

A woman washes the dirty paws of a young golden retriever standing in a shower on ceramic tiles.
A woman washes the dirty paws of a young golden retriever standing in a shower on ceramic tiles.

While it’s hard to provide exact guidance on how to prevent Alabama rot, it’s believed that the disease is picked up on the paws and legs.[3] Therefore, one recommended precaution is to thoroughly wash off mud from your dog after wet and muddy walks – particularly in woodland areas.

What should I do if I think my dog has symptoms of Alabama rot?

If you suspect that your dog is exhibiting signs of Alabama rot, it’s crucial to consult your vet ASAP for further evaluation and guidance. Early detection and management can significantly improve the outcome for your pet if Alabama rot is the diagnosis.

Vet trips can often be very expensive, especially if your dog is needed blood tests, scans, inpatient treatment and or medication. This is why pet insurance is so important. Invest in the right coverage for your pet’s well-being and protect your finances. Get a quote today.

Should I be concerned about my dog contracting Alabama rot?

Reported cases of Alabama rot in the UK are relatively rare but it’s natural to feel concerned. The overall risk remains low, considering the thousands of dogs walked in rural settings daily. While some areas may have environmental triggers, there’s no definitive evidence to suggest that certain locations are safer than others. As long as you are educated and vigilant, you can do your best to protect your pet from this awful condition. Be sure to send this article to your fellow dog owners and spread awareness.

When pets fall ill or have accidents, it can be stressful, especially if it strains your finances to cover expensive vet bills. The right pet insurance policy can give you peace of mind that your pet will receive treatment when they need it most. Don’t let unexpected vet bills catch you off guard. Invest in the right coverage for your pet’s well-being and protect your finances.

Perfect Pet insurance covers illnesses under its Lifetime Cover, Max Benefit Cover and it’s time limited cover. Be sure to check your policy limit amount and any restrictions in your policy documents when making a claim.

Get a quote today!


[2] Alabama rot: Warning over ‘surge’ in deadly dog disease cases – BBC News