The cause of Alabama Rot is unknown. Alabamarot.co.uk will survey the scientific and popular hypotheses about the causes of Alabama Rot.
HUS – Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome
Testing for the more common causes of acute kidney failure has been normal in all affected dogs. It is the concurrent presence of skin lesions and in some patients thrombocytopaenia (a low blood platelet count) and haemolytic anaemia (a low red blood cell count) that makes the cases so unusual. Histopathological evaluation (microscopic examination) of kidney tissue from post mortem samples from affected dogs by specialist pathologists in the UK and the US has revealed changes similar to those identified in greyhounds diagnosed with idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) (abnormalities of the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys of unknown cause). These changes are similar to those seen in human patients with a condition called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). In some people with HUS an E.coli toxin (shiga toxin) has been identified as the underlying cause; however, the underlying trigger for HUS is not always found. We have examined both the faeces and kidney tissue of affected dogs for E.coli toxin and testing has been negative.
HUS can be typical or atypical (aHUS). Alabamarot.co.uk have a page on HUS here.
Does Raw Food cause Alabama Rot?
On 7th April 2014 David Walker of Anderson Moores Vets said:
“There has been some suggestion in the media that Alabama Rot is caused by feeding raw food. We have found no link to any particular brand or type of food, nor have we identified any link to raw diets.”