First Alabama rot cases of 2022 confirmed - Veterinary Practice
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First Alabama rot cases of 2022 confirmed

Anderson Moore Veterinary Specialists urges dog owners to remain vigilant after confirming the first two cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (Alabama rot) in 2022

A leading veterinary referral centre is urging dog owners to remain vigilant after confirming the year’s first two cases of the deadly disease cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), more commonly known as Alabama rot.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester has been leading research into the devastating disease since 2012 and is collating information on all cases and reports of confirmed cases across the country. Indeed, experts at Linnaeus-owned practice have recently launched a website dedicated to Alabama rot, which offers advice and information about the disease to pet owners, including a live map of confirmed cases across the UK.

The renowned referral centre has now confirmed two new cases of Alabama rot since 1 January in Ashtead, Surrey, and Wokingham, Berkshire.

David Walker, American, RCVS and EBVS European specialist in small animal internal medicine, leads the team at Anderson Moores and is the UK’s foremost authority on the disease. He said: “We’re very sad to confirm two new cases of CRGV already in 2022. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the time of year when cases are most commonly identified.

“It is understandably worrying for dog owners; however, I must stress that this disease is still very rare. We’re advising dog owners across the country to remain calm but vigilant and seek advice from their local vets if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions.”

The disease, which originally appeared in the late 1980s, was first detected in the UK in 2012. It affects the kidneys and has a 90 percent mortality rate. The two new cases follow 28 throughout 2021 and 47 in 2020, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the UK up to 281.

One of the dogs who sadly contracted CRGV earlier this month was Frankie, a two-year-old German shorthair pointer cross, who was treated by Anderson Moores’ fellow Linnaeus hospital, Eastcott Veterinary Referrals, in Swindon. Frankie’s owner Kevin O’Connell, from Wokingham, said he was struck by the speed with which the disease took hold of his pet.

He said: “It was all incredibly quick. We first noticed something was wrong with Frankie on Wednesday 5 January, after he vomited. He then seemed to be OK but later that afternoon he was vomiting a lot, almost continuously, so we took him to our local vets who gave him some anti-nausea medication.

“However, it didn’t have any effect so we took him back to the vets the next day, where he was kept in while they carried out tests and determined Frankie had kidney problems. We were then referred to Eastcott Veterinary Referrals, in Swindon, but sadly there was nothing they could do for him and he was put to sleep on the Saturday.”

Kevin said that, along with both Eastcott and Anderson Moores, he was keen to raise awareness among dog owners of the disease. He said: “Alabama rot wasn’t something I was aware of previously. The vets said it can affect young dogs who are in wet, muddy environments and, unfortunately, the woods behind us where we often took Frankie on walks are very wet and very muddy.”

While CRGV is often fatal, David said the best chance of recovery probably lies with early and intensive veterinary care which may be best provided at a specialist facility. He said: “We have been at the forefront of research into CRGV for almost a decade and have witnessed first-hand the often-devastating effects of the disease.

“Treatment largely revolves around management of the sudden onset kidney failure and, sadly, with our current understanding of the disease, is only successful in around 10 percent of cases.”

David added that he hoped Anderson Moores’ dedicated new CRGV website would be a useful tool in raising awareness of the disease among dog owners.

“In launching this new website, we aim to give pet owners as much information as possible about CRGV,” he said. “We hope the confirmed case map will also prove useful. Although an environmental trigger has not been definitively proven, the seasonality of the disease makes it eminently possible and the map allows everyone to see the location of confirmed cases.”

Anderson Moores offers specialist care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, feline hyperthyroid clinic, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

The view Anderson Moores’ new dedicated CRGV website, which includes a nationwide live map of cases. visit the Alabama rot website.

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