Alabama rot dog disease cases mostly occur in autumn/winter

The BBC report Royal Veterinary College researcher Dr Kim Stevens who confirms that about 60% of cases of Alabama rot, which has killed more than 100 dogs in the UK, occur in the first three months of the year.

New research by Kim Stevens has started to try and discover more about the risk factors and spread of the disease. The cause of the disease, which first occurred in the UK in 2012, is still unknown. However, researchers have found there are more cases in autumn and winter. Most deaths caused by the disease have happened in Hampshire, Dorset and Greater Manchester*.

The disease causes lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth. Some dogs can also develop life-threatening kidney failure.

Dr Kim Stevens, of the Royal Veterinary College, said her research, expected to conclude by the end of the year, would not identify the specific cause of the disease. She said it was instead designed to look for geographical patterns, as well as environmental and climatic risk factors. A “very obvious” pattern already found was linked to seasons, she added:

“There are limited cases over the summer whereas everything starts to pick up in November and at least 60% of the cases occur in the first three months of the year, so it’s very much an autumn/winter pattern that we’re looking at.”

UK dog deaths from Alabama rot since 2012

Berkshire 2
Cheshire 4
Cornwall 1
County Durham 2
Cumbria 1
Devon 4
Dorset 10
Dumfries and Galloway 1
East Sussex 3
Greater Manchester 12
Hampshire 18
Kent 2
Lancashire 2
Lincolnshire 1
London 3
Monmouthshire 5
North Yorkshire 1
Northamptonshire 1
Nottinghamshire 2
Shropshire 1
Somerset 2
Staffordshire 2
Surrey 6
Warwickshire 1
West Sussex 3
West Yorkshire 2
Wiltshire 3
Worcestershire 5
Wrexham 1
Source: Royal Veterinary College/Stop Alabama Rot

*  from the list of dog deaths by county, 40 of the 101 confirmed deaths since 2012 occurred in Dorset, Hampshire or Greater Manchester.

Epidemiology and cause of Alabama Rot project

First some definitions. Epidemiology is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health”.  It is also the study of the causation of epidemic diseases according to Wikipedia. And CRGV is the scientific name for Alabama Rot.

This week the Alabama Rot Research Fund (ARRF) have reported funding an Alabama Rot / CRGV Epidemiology project by Dr Kim Stevens:

Continue reading “Epidemiology and cause of Alabama Rot project”

Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Cumbria: dog dies of suspected Alabama Rot.

I received this very sad news (via our AlabamaRot forum) of a vet suspected Alabama Rot case in August 2017. The dog ‘Harris’, a three-year-old Hungarian Wirehaired Visla, was walked in Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Cumbria areas up to a month before the lesions were spotted. The 7 areas have been added to the ‘All Alabama Rot cases’ map. Kevin Day posted the sad news about Harris on his Facebook page.

Continue reading “Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Cumbria: dog dies of suspected Alabama Rot.”

Bournemouth Marathon – Raising money for Alabama Rot Research

Aaron is running in the Bournemouth marathon for ARRF because Catherine Moss & Aaron want to raise money for Alabama rot research.

Catherine Moss said:

“After losing our beloved dog Maggie to Alabama rot on 10th February 2017 [see Confirmed cases map] we want to try to help raise awareness and funds for more research into this awful disease so that hopefully very soon a cause, then cure might be found. If we reach the target Aaron will run it in fancy dress.”

Donate here.

Alabama Rot May 2017 Reading Conference

The Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy focus meeting group, aka the Alabama Rot Conference, was held in the Trophy Room at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on Tuesday, May 10th 2017.

Chris Street from attended the conference.

The agenda included an update on the current situation, ongoing and future research, sample collection and storage, data capture and fundraising.

Speakers included David Kavanagh, Professor of Complement Therapeutics, Newcastle University. He spoke about ‘Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome – experience from the National Renal Complement Therapeutic Centre.’

Dr Tristan Cogan, Senior Lecturer in Infectious Disease at the University of Bristol spoke about ‘Spatial distribution of bacteria in tissues of CRGV cases’.

Amanda Boag, clinical director of Vets Now attended the conference:

“attendees put their heads together to consider an action plan for the disease. A huge amount of research is also being carried out into its causes. Scientists are looking for infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as toxins in dogs affected. At the moment there is no vaccine for Alabama rot as the cause has not been established. Once this is the case it’s hoped a vaccine could be developed.” Vets-Now

David Walker of Anderson Moores, who organised the conference, said:

“The conference was very positive, with everyone contributing greatly to the discussion, and we look forward to continuing to work with our fellow professionals to research this condition. We’ve already started the process of setting up a steering committee, to help focus the enormous experience and knowledge from the 30 specialists who gave up their time for free to attend. Among the items we discussed was the sharing of data from similar human health issues to identify any possible connections.” Express

David Walker continued:

“Early evidence had suggested a possible environmental link to dogs being walked in muddy woodland areas, but human and veterinary experts are now looking for clues at a cellular level. Evidence does, however, suggest a seasonal factor may be at play. Mr Walker said 90% of confirmed CRGV cases occurred between the colder months of November to May, with February and March being the peak UK CRGV months. The key to cracking the mystery of CRGV was a collaboration between the human medicine and veterinary medicine disciplines, and that is why the focus group had been created. Collaboration is key. Setting up links with universities across the UK and links with specialists from the human fields will really help push things forward.  There’s been a huge amount of work done in separate little projects to this point, but now it’s more about a targeted approach.” Veterinary Times

Vet Record

Veterinary Record (behind paywall) Vol 180, Issue 20