Unfortunately the cause of the disease is unknown

A woman from Gloucester is warning fellow dog-owners to be cautious of a potentially fatal disease her dog has caught.

Jasmine Smith was walking her two-year-old dog Boe when he caught Alabama Rot.

She wrote a post on Facebook explaining what had happened and imploring people to share the post to raise awareness.

“My dog is currently being treated for Alabama Rot which has caused acute kidney failure and is very poorly,” she wrote.

“We walk our princess up the woods in Drybrook - please take care and be aware that Alabama Rot is in the Forest of Dean!!”

Smith explained that although it’s rare for dogs to catch Alabama Rot, Boe did, and other dogs could too. She’s calling for dog-walkers to be careful.

Alabama Rot is the more common name for a disease called CRGV. According to Vets4Pets, it is of unknown cause, affects all breeds and doesn’t discriminate in terms of age or weight.

If it isn’t spotted early enough, it can lead to sudden and potentially fatal kidney failure. Some vets say it’s 90 per cent fatal in dogs.

So what are the symptoms to look out for?

A skin sore below the elbow or knee can be a sign of Alabama Rot. They usually appear as distinct swellings, patches of red skin or are open and ulcer-like.

Within around two to seven days, a dog with Alabama Rot would develop outward signs of sudden kidney failure such as vomiting, reduced hunger, and an unusual tiredness.

However it’s important to know that skin sores and sudden kidney failure do not necessarily mean your dog has Alabama Rot - they’re more likely to be caused by another disease.

Unfortunately there’s no known cause of CRGV which means it’s hard to prevent your dog contracting the disease, but experts say that the most important thing is to know the symptoms - if caught early enough, your vet will be able to evaluate whether your dog has Alabama Rot.

“We do not know for certain if there is an environmental trigger for CRGV,” David Walker at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists said.

“Indeed, if there is an environmental trigger we do not know when, in relation to the development of clinical signs, this occurs (e.g. environmental exposure could occur one day, one week, or one month before clinical signs develop).”

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It’s thought that dogs pick up the disease when their paws and legs become muddy on walks, so it’s important to wash them properly afterwards and check for any symptoms.

Contact your vet if you have any concerns.

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