The symptoms of Alabama rot are similar to a disease seen in US greyhounds, but there is no evidence that it has the same cause. Some vets have argued that it should be renamed New Forest disease in the UK.
One theory [hypothesis] links the disease to a virus originating in the American terrapins imported as pets in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze of the 1990s but released when they grew to the size of dinner plates.
Google Trends for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle @ 4/1/19
Another idea is that it is caused by bacteria found in amphibians that suffer symptoms similar to those seen in dogs.
Whatever the cause, the impact can be devastating.
“the disease had the potential to spread across the UK. Walking dogs on muddy ground seems to be the common factor. Owners who have been in such areas should hose their dogs down with cold water after every such walk. They won’t like it, but it might save them.”
Dealing with cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy in dogs
by Laura Holm and David Walker Abstract
Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is a disease of dogs, first reported in racing greyhounds in the USA during the 1980s. The disease causes erosive to ulcerative skin lesions, predominantly affecting the limbs, ventrum and oral cavity; however, a proportion of dogs develop more severe systemic abnormalities, including thrombocytopenia, anaemia and acute kidney injury. The disease was first reported in the UK in 2000, in a single pet greyhound. Since 2012, over 160 cases of CRGV have been confirmed in a wide range of dog breeds; no age or bodyweight predilection has been identified. To date, the cause of CRGV in dogs remains unknown. This article provides a review of the history and clinical signs and advises practitioners on the current approaches to dealing with the condition.
If your dog gets skin lesions or other symptoms consult your vet, without delay. “Unexplained redness, sores or swelling of the skin (on the paws, legs, body, face, tongue or mouth) are often the first sign of this disease.” (AMVS, Feb 2016) After five years, we still don’t know what causes Alabama Rot. From analysis by AlabamaRot.co.uk, we do know that 90% of confirmed cases have been in the six months during Winter and Spring (December – May). Information about Alabama Rot / CRGV for dog owners from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists (AMVS).