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New Hope For The Treatment Of Alabama Rot

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Golden retriever in woods

As dog owners, you will have heard a lot about this emerging disease, Alabama rot, in recent years – or, cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) to give it its scientific name. There appears to be no cure and no sure-fire way of keeping your dogs safe. Until now. There may be a light on the horizon.

The Royal Veterinary College has made a ‘ground-breaking discovery’ and, during their test procedures, two of the six dogs in the study that were afflicted with Alabama rot went on to make a full recovery.

What is Alabama rot?
This life-threatening disease causes tiny blood clots in the dog’s blood vessels (predominantly in the skin and the kidneys). These clots cause blockages in the blood vessels, leading to skin lesions and, potentially, renal failure. The skin lesions will occur most commonly on the legs, but also on the body, mouth and/or tongue. The symptoms of kidney damage can occur rapidly; these will include vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy.

Cocker spaniel in the mud

The majority of Alabama rot cases are seen between November and May.

What is this new treatment?
The Royal Veterinary College used therapeutic plasma exchange during their research and it was this that saw such positive results. The dogs’ blood was filtered, thus removing any toxic substances and clots, and this was then returned to the dogs as ‘clean’ blood. This is the first time that severely affected dogs have been seen to survive Alabama rot.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a treatment that your average veterinary surgeon has the means to perform, but we are heading in the right direction with this new knowledge.

 

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