Alabama Rot


The first signs of the disease are:

  • Painful skin lesions, sores and ulcers –  usually around the paws and lower legs

lesions may be in the form of a red patch or can be an ulcer that is open and weeping.

  • The the dog’s face, mouth, tongue and lower body can also become infected.

Check for :

  • Hair loss around the area
  • Excessive licking.

As the condition advances (approximately three days):

  • Signs of kidney failure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting.
  • Lack of urination

At Risk

There is no evidence to suggest that this disease is contagious to humans or dogs.

This disease can affect all breeds of dog,  of any age and size.

What is Alabama Rot?

The clinical name for Alabama Rot is cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV).

Orignating from Alabama in the 1980s when greyhounds developed skin ulcers and went into kidney failure.

No testing was carried out on these dogs so it is unclear if there is a link between US cases and the UK. 

A range of breeds have been identified with CRGV in the UK

Cases in the UK appear to be increasing but are still relatively low.


There is no vaccination available to protect our dogs from Alabama Rot

If it is caught early enough, some dogs are able to fight off the disease with minimal damage.

For the majority of dogs, it can lead to sudden kidney failure.

This disease can be fatal.

A breakthrough treatment called plasmapheresis. (The process filters the blood of toxins) was announced by the Royal Veterinary College in 2018  Two out of six affected dogs made a full recovery.

How is it spread?

The cause is unknown.

The disease appears to be seasonal with cases being reported between the months of November and June.

The common factor between affected dogs shows they have usually walked through muddy areas or wet woodland. It’s believed there is possibly an E-Coli related bacteria in the soil.


A definitive diagnosis of CRGV is made by histopathological assessment of the kidneys and skin.


It’s important to check your dog regularly for signs of sores, lumps & lesions. 

Early detection is the only way to give your dog the best chance of survival.

Always rinse off your dog after walks in muddy or woodland ares, paying attention to their lower limbs, abdomen and muzzle area.