A blog posted by the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies states that there have been three confirmed cases in Scotland in the past 12 months. In one case the dog died.
Alabama rot, which is picked up on dog’s paws and legs during muddy walks, comes from America but was discovered in Britain around three years ago. The condition, which can prove fatal, causes tiny clots in blood vessels that can lead to ulcers on the skin and eventually kidney failure.
There have been at least 61 confirmed cases of Alabama rot – also known as CRGV – in England. Now the disease has spread north of the border and vets are urging dog owners to take care of their pets.
Dr Tim Nuttall, head of dermatology at the University of Edinburgh’s Dick Vets, said: “Our advice to owners is not to panic but be vigilant. If you spot anything of concern, take your dog to a vet as soon as possible.”
The Dick School blog reads: “All the dogs came from different places, and there is no association with any one site. There is no reason to believe that owners should avoid any particular area.
“The initial lesions include inflammation, reddening, sores, swelling, bruising and ulcers. These usually affect the feet and lower limbs, but can be seen around the face and in the mouth. Dogs with suspected AKI require urgent specialist care.”
A veterinary practice in Midlothian confirmed the first fatal case of Alabama rot in Scotland.
ICR vets said: “We can confirm that we treated a case of Alabama rot at the start of March and our case sadly did not make it.”
The cause of Alabama rot is currently unknown. However most cases are recorded between November and May, suggesting that cold, wet weather may play a role.