Images above: a sore on a dog’s paw; Young Veterinary Partnership Chiswick. 

Watch for ‘Alabama Rot’ in dogs, says Chiswick vet

11 January, 2021 / by Matt Smith

A local vet is calling on dog owners to watch for symptoms of ‘Alabama Rot’ in their pets.

Young Veterinary Partnership, on Bedford Corner, has reported a case of the disease after the afflicted dog had been on a walk around Sheen Park and Chiswick Park.

‘Alabama Rot’ is a rare and relatively unknown disease, which is potentially fatal if contracted. Vets at the practice want to alert dog owners and make them aware of the signs, as all breeds can be affected, regardless of age or weight.

The disease can present itself in a number of ways. Vets recommend washing and towel drying your dog’s feet and legs after every walk and to look out for new sores or ulcers on your dog’s skin.

If you find new ‘hot spots’ or sore patches, particularly around your dog’s feet and leg area, you should seek veterinary advice immediately.

‘Very rare, but hard to avoid’

A spokesperson for Young Veterinary Partnership Chiswick, Federico Bagge, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Unfortunately there’s not much evidence, so what we know is limited. The presence of the problem is very low in the area at the moment, but there is no easy way to avoid it” said Federico.

“Apparently, the disease is transmitted by a bacteria called E. coli, possibly coming from the stools of cows especially in muddy areas. The only thing we can try to do to prevent this disease is, if a dog walks in one of these areas, clean the toes of the dog and spray some anti-bacterial on the toes and, unfortunately, that’s all you can do as there’s no other way to prevent the disease.

“If your dog does sadly get the disease, the symptoms are pretty generic. They’re the symptoms of liver disease and kidney disease. Usually you should look out for lethargy, if the dog doesn’t want to play, doesn’t want to eat, maybe vomiting.

“It’s an acute-kidney injury that makes the disease fatal, sometimes it’s also liver failure. When a dog is brought in with these symptoms we run a lot of tests to find out what’s happening as sometimes this disease can also mimic leptospirosis infection.”

Leptospirosis is a blood disease which produces symptoms including, but is not limited to, fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and jaundice.

“Luckily it’s very rare, that’s the only good news about this disease.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Rapid Covid tests available in Hounslow

See also: Guest blog – Professor Jeremy Levy says take the vaccination as soon as you are offered it

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