The cause of Alabama Rot is unknown. will survey the scientific and popular hypotheses about the causes of Alabama Rot.

HUS – Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

On 16th January 2014 David Walker of Anderson Moores Vets said:

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). 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.”


8 Replies to “Cause”

  1. Maybe it’s not the faeces of the affected dog, but the faeces of the carrier, maybe a dog fed rancid raw food that already contains e.Coli or shiga toxin.? When this disease originated in Alabama in the 80’s, Alabama was the only state in the USA where raw feeding was legal, and it was only legal to feed to working or sport dogs, hence it became prevalent in the greyhound racing community. This fact is consistently overlooked.
    This mystery will be solved by a statistician, not a scientist, but that will only happen when Anderson Moore’s release all the info they have gathered. From the research I have done, I don’t think Anderson’s are even asking the right questions. As they accept charitable donations for this research, I feel they should make everything public. This has gone on too long.

  2. January 2016 there are reports of a case in Monmouthshire. I assume this is the 2nd case, as in 2015 one was recorded for Monmouth. Dog owners should be advised of exactly where in Monmouthshire so that we can work to prevent this spreading and keep our own dogs alive. Could you please advise the exact location? Thank you.

    I have been following this since 2012 when I first heard about the New Forest outbreaks and am posting as much help on my Facebook page as possible, linking to the alabamarot website.

    1. Chris, I have been following media stories re UK cases of Alabama Rot with some interest in recent years. I have studied your maps & wondered if there may be a potential link to other animals that use the land…..The relative density of cases linked to the new forest made me wonder if there is a link with horses/ponies…Maybe the disease is dormant in those carriers but can be passed on to domestic dogs. Pure speculation but perhaps spread via hooves into ground, (or perhaps by grazing, or eaten horse faeces). I considered deer as transmitters/carriers but I dismissed this as I cant see dense confirmed case areas that are used by dog walkers & also have relatively high deer populations. I also wonder if this disease perhaps has some similarity to an evolved or mutated strain of foot and mouth as prior found in cattle. I emailed one of the linked vet practices re this speculative potential theory but never got a reply…Hence me posting here….If nothing else I would be grateful if my post gets acknowledged by you here Chris….Otherwise please feel free to email me. Many Thanks for your efforts thus far.

      1. Hi Coaster,
        Thanks for looking at my maps to try to find correlations between cases of Alabama Rot and horses / deer densities and your suggestion that Alabama Rot might be an evolved form of foot and mouth.

      2. Hi Coaster,

        Take a look at how this spread, and see what you think. Does it look like this spread like a [transmittable] disease? A disease starts somewhere and spreads from there. This thing looks like it arose in several widely spread locations all at the same time. Do germs do synchronised evolution. I don’t know. I’m not an expert. What do you reckon?

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