What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama rot is a disease that affects dogs by blocking and damaging the blood vessels in their skin and kidneys. Those affected will usually develop painful ulcers or sores on their legs and can eventually develop kidney failure, which is usually fatal.

The disease first appeared among greyhounds in the US state of Alabama in the 1980s, but the number of cases subsequently fell, and no clinical research was carried out. This lack of understanding means no one has been able to determine the cause and it’s only recognisable by its symptoms.

The disease has reportedly affected around 191 dogs in the UK between November 2012 and October 2019, with initial cases found in the New Forest area. While it’s still very rare, cases have spread across the country, with reports around the north east, particularly the Bolton and Manchester areas. The number of cases has also developed around London and Surrey with the first report in Essex around June 2019, Cornwall, Devon, South Wales near Newport, Republic of Ireland near Dublin and the east coast of Northern Ireland have all reported cases of Alabama rot.

Winchester vets AndersonMoores are extremley well informed and have a good information sheet which can be accessed here.

There is also a particularly useful link here to locations where cases have been found.