Deadly dog disease confirmed in Exeter

Dog owners are being urged to remain vigilant after confirmed case of Alabama Rot in Exeter.

Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), more commonly known as Alabama Rot, affects the kidneys and has a 90 per cent mortality rate.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists confirmed the news, while also revealing new cases in Herefordshire and Greater London.

It has been leading research into this devastating disease since 2012 and is collating information on all cases and reports of confirmed cases across the country.

Experts at Anderson Moores, which is part of Linnaeus, have now confirmed three new cases of the disease – 10 per cent of the total 2019 figure – since January 1.

Labrador Retriever Molly was luck to survive

Now, a leading expert in the disease from Anderson Moores is advising pet owners to remain calm but vigilant.

David Walker, American, RCVS and EBVS European specialist in small animal internal medicine, leads the team at Anderson Moores Vet Specialists and is the UK’s foremost authority on the disease.

He said: “We’re very sad to confirm three new cases of CRGV already in 2021. 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. The three confirmed new cases come off the back of 47 during 2020, 19 cases in 2019 and 18 in 2018.

Previous cases have been identified across the country including areas such as Gloucestershire, Surrey, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornwall, Devon and Staffordshire.

Alabama Rot can cause nasty lesions on dogs

Mr Walker added: “If a dog is suspected to be suffering from CRGV, the best chance of recovery probably lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores.

“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 per cent of cases.

“However, the team here at Anderson Moores recently enjoyed success after treating a suspected case of CRGV in a Labrador Retriever.

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“Molly was referred to our internal medicine team just before Christmas due to limb swelling and a deep and painful ulcer on one of her legs. Following four days’ intensive treatment, things started to improve and we began to cautiously hope Molly would survive the disease.

“She continued to slowly improve, and, after two nerve-wracking weeks, Molly was discharged to continue her recovery at home. Recovery for patients such as Molly is often prolonged, but she has continued to do well.

“Sadly, stories such as Molly’s are relatively rare, with CRGV remaining a devastating disease, without a known cause or treatment, and which has taken away many beloved dogs from their families.”

Molly continues to make a good recovery from the dreadful disease

Winchester-based Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, which is part of Linnaeus., remains heavily involved in ongoing research into the causes of CRGV.

To find out more about CRGV, please visit www.andersonmoores.com and the Alabama Rot Research Fund at arrf.co.uk.

Devon Live