Your questions answered by James Allsop, Clinical Lead of Langford Vets Small Animal Practice.

Q: What is Alabama Rot and should I be worried?

A: Alabama rot or cutaneous and renal vasculopathy (CRGV) is a disease that can affect dogs. It causes damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidney, causing clots and ulceration (sore bleeding lesions), and ultimately can lead to kidney failure which is very serious. The good news is that although the disease is very serious the number of dogs affected remains low (94 cases between November 2012 and April 2017). Cases of CRGV have been reported all over the UK, but thankfully we have not seen any in our practice. The cause of the disease is currently unknown, but investigations are underway. There are thoughts that it is an environmental cause, so we would advise that dogs legs are thoroughly washed after muddy walks. Although most skin lesions on your dogs are not Alabama Rot, if your dog has ulcerated skin lesions particularly on its legs, face or in its mouth, or has skin lesions and becomes unwell (stops eating, becomes excessively tired, or has vomiting and diarrhoea), we would advise you to seek veterinary advice. Whilst this is not something to panic about, do take your dog to a vet if you see any unusual skin wounds, particularly on the lower leg.