Anecdotal link between CRGV and UK weather is increasing

David Woodmansey on May 09, 2019 in Vet Times reports. We quote

“In 2018, to the end of March, 34 cases of Alabama rot were confirmed in the UK. In 2019, to the end of March, there have been 10 confirmed cases.

Confirmed cases of the mystery, often lethal canine disease cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) are down in the UK for the first three months of 2019, compared to 2018.

The disease, commonly known as Alabama rot, appears to have a seasonal distribution with most cases being reported between November and May, but unknown aetiology.

Multidisciplinary investigations have proved inconclusive, although anecdotal evidence suggests a link to dogs walked on cold, wet, muddy terrain.

The fact confirmed cases are down this year, at a period when climatic conditions in the first three months of 2019 have been warmer and dryer than previous years, has been noted.

Data assessment

David Walker, from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, and the UK’s leading expert on Alabama rot, said: “Obviously, there has been a drop in confirmed cases of CRGV in the UK for the first three months of 2019, compared to 2018.

“However, while it’s good news for dogs and their owners, we must be cautious in attributing specific reasons for this. We’re continually assessing data associated with confirmed cases and their geographical location, but one factor we’ve been exploring is the association between increased case numbers and milder, wetter weather in winter and spring.

“Climatic conditions may have been different this year compared to last; however, this anecdotal assessment needs to be scientifically confirmed before we can reach any firm conclusions. In the meantime, we advise all vets and dog owners remain vigilant.”

CRGV was first identified in the UK in November 2012 and takes its name from a similar mystery disease that affected greyhounds in Alabama. The UK version is not breed-specific.

Any updates on locations and dates of confirmed cases will be made available at the Vets4Pets Stop Alabama Rot web page.

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