THE Kennel Club is warning dog owners to be vigilant as the peak season for the Alabama rot disease sets in.
The condition, also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy, or CRGV, was first detected in the UK in 2012 and is most prevalent between November and May.
Only appearing to affect dogs, the disease damages the lining of blood vessels in the skin and kidney, resulting in ulceration of the skin and kidney damage. The condition can affect any breed or age of dog and a proportion can go on to develop severe, acute kidney failure, which is often fatal.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary said: “Although the disease is very rare, affecting an extremely low percentage of dogs in the UK, the condition is very serious and potentially life-threatening.
“It is therefore vital that owners understand and recognise the warning signs, especially as time plays a significant part in successfully treating the disease.
“Any dogs with unexplained or concerning skin lesions which typically look like sores, ulcers, or red, swollen, bruised areas, commonly with an infected appearance should be taken to their vet as soon as possible.
“These skin changes are usually found on their paws or lower legs, but may also appear on their head, face or lower body.
“Dogs who have contracted the disease may also become tired, disinterested in food, or present other signs of illness like vomiting or diarrhoea.
“Although these signs may not necessarily mean your dog has Alabama rot, acting quickly and speaking to a vet to determine what is wrong is the best course of action to protect your pet’s health.”
To learn more about the risk of Alabama rot, watch the Kennel Club video: https://youtu.be/PSvsWNKaHeU