Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy: The Alabama Rot Lesser known diseases that can kill your dog

Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy: The Alabama Rot

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Dogs can suffer from Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV). Though the precise cause of CRGV is unknown, it appears to be connected to an infection by a particular bacteria, which may then set off an immune reaction that harms the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys.

Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), also known as 'Alabama rot', is a recently discovered condition affecting dogs. Cases have been reported in the US since the 1980s and in the UK since late 2012. The majority of cases in the UK have occurred in the south of England, with less than ten cases occurring outside this area. 

There are no indications that CRGV can be spread from dog to dog or that it represents any risk to people. But it does appear to be fatal for some dogs who develop severe kidney failure within three days of apparent recovery from skin lesions, with no signs of damage to internal organs. It can be treated with the right pet medicines and diets like Hill's prescription diet for kidney care.

Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) is a serious, recently described condition affecting dogs. It's a recently described condition, with only a few cases having been published in the literature. The exact cause of CRGV is not known, but it seems to be linked to an infection by certain bacteria, which can trigger an immune response that causes damage to blood vessels in the skin and kidneys. Due to the severe effects on the kidneys, it has a 90 percent mortality rate. 

Rising Cases of CRGV in England

The number of CRGV cases has reached 281, and most have been reported in southern England, especially in the Hampshire area. Cases have also been reported in other countries, such as Australia and the United States. 

The disease is not known to be contagious, but it can be transferred by an infected animal’s saliva or urine, getting into a lesion on a human being’s skin. For example, if you touch a dead or dying animal with your bare hands and then don't wash your hands properly before touching other parts of your body (such as the eyes) or the food you eat.

The exact cause of CRGV is unknown. However, at present, there is information that it represents a risk to people.

Common Signs of CRGV/ Alabama Rot

Skin lesions, often on the paws or lower legs, are one of the most common signs of canine CRGV. The skin may be swollen and ulcerated or have red patches. A dog with CRGV may also suffer hair loss around these areas and other symptoms, including lethargy and fever.

The skin lesions tend to be extremely painful. Skin lesions may occur on any part of the body but are more common in exposed areas such as limbs and the head. Lesions may also occur on the face or tongue, and any suspected cases should always be investigated promptly by a vet.

Vets are trained to spot the signs of Alabama Rot and should be able to help you even if your dog is not showing symptoms. If you suspect your dog has Alabama Rot, take them to the vet as soon as possible. The sooner it is diagnosed, with the right pet meds, the greater the probability for the treatment to be successful.

Watched Out For These Symptoms

If you suspect your dog has CRGV, you should consult your vet immediately for further examination. 

In some cases, ulcers or lesions may not be seen, and symptoms will be limited to reduced activity and vomiting. Some dogs may develop severe kidney failure within three to seven days of apparent recovery from the skin signs. Most deaths occur within ten days of a kidney failure diagnosis.

However, when dogs survive the initial period of renal damage, they usually recover fully with no long-term effects. That is why maintaining kidney health is important; Hill's prescription diet can help with this. 

The clinical signs of Alabama rot are similar to those of glomerular nephrotic syndrome, a disease that affects the kidneys. Some dogs with Alabama rot die within a few days after developing acute kidney failure, while others recover fully from skin lesions without any sign of damage to their internal organs. The range of renal injury also varies greatly; some dogs develop mild kidney disease without a significant loss of function, while others develop acute kidney injury, which can lead to death if not treated quickly.

The cause is unknown, but agents such as viruses and bacteria may contribute to or be directly responsible for this condition in dogs. If your dog has Alabama rot, it's important to know what pet medication you can use to help them.

Treating CRGV in Dogs

The most common treatment is antibiotics for dogs, which are used to fight off the disease. These pet medications can be taken as pills or given through an injection. In some cases, dogs may also need an IV drip if they're severely dehydrated or experiencing other symptoms, such as seizures.

In addition to antibiotics for dogs, some painkillers can also be used on dogs with Alabama rot. These will help ease the pain and discomfort they're experiencing while they recover from their illness.

The best treatment for Alabama rot in dogs is a 3-5 day course of antibiotics for dogs. These include: 

  • Cephalexin for dogs 

  • Doxycycline for dogs and 

  • Metronidazole for dogs 

If the dog shows signs of kidney failure, it is recommended to hydrate it with intravenous fluid. Keep in mind that these need to be approved by a veterinarian. These are easily found in a pet pharmacy, and pet meds online can be ordered. When possible, treatment, such as fluids and transfusions, is often more supportive than exhaustive. But unfortunately, it is only successful in 20 percent of the cases.


There is currently no way to predict which dogs will go on to develop kidney failure following the initial skin sores or how they will respond to the treatment.

Although the cause of this condition is unknown, it is now thought to be linked to a toxin in certain types of algae, which dogs may ingest when they drink from stagnant ponds or lakes. Ensure that your dog is well taken care of and taken to the vet for regular checkups. One small mistake could turn out to be fatal for your dog. Though Alabama Rot is a rare disease, it can turn out to be deadly. Early detection is the key.

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