What Is Alabama Rot? Symptoms, Treatments & More

Alabama Rot

What Is Alabama Rot?

With the recent press about the spread of Alabama rot across the UK, it’s important that dog owners understand what is Alabama rot and how you can prevent it and treat it if you think your dog may have it.

Alabama rot was first heard of in the 1980’s in the USA and was identified in greyhounds.

It’s reported since 2012 there have been 135 deaths as a result of Alabama rot, with at least 29 so far in 2018.

It’s no longer just affecting greyhounds and is affecting all dogs.

How Does A Dog Get Alabama Rot?

It’s thought that the disease is picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks, although this is not confirmed.

What are the symptoms of Alabama Rot?

The first symptom you will notice of Alabama rot is skin lesions. These will be swollen, red and often an open ulcer, and will appear lower on the leg, body, mouth or tongue.

Your dog might also suffer from sores on their legs and it’s likely that they will lick these constantly making them even sorer.

Vomiting, tiredness, and lack of appetite will present itself after a couple of days which is a sign of Kidney failure.

Alabama rot Pictures of Lesions

The following video talks more about the symptoms and also shows pictures of what to look for.

Can My Dog Die from Alabama Rot?

If you see any of the symptoms above, then you should take your dog to the vet straight away.

Alabama Rot is fatal in 9 out of 10 cases and any dog can get it.

It’s quite possible your dog will not have Alabama rot, but it’s important you seek an opinion from your vet.

Make sure you take them straight away as the sooner they can receive treatment the better.

Alabama Rot Treatment Options

According to www.alabamarot.co.uk

“Unfortunately, as the cause is currently unknown, it is very difficult to give specific advice about prevention. You may wish to consider bathing any area of your dog which becomes wet or muddy on a walk; however, at this stage, we do not know if this is necessary or of any benefit.”

Dogs Trust is advising dog owners to:

• Wash mud off their dog’s paws after a walk
• Keep their dogs away from muddy puddles

Where are the confirmed cases of Alabama Rot so far?

Vets 4 Pets have put together a map of cases of Alabama rot so that you can track where it has been reported.

At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the cases however research is continuing.

You can view the map below.


So far in Ireland, there is only one reported case in Dublin

Date: March 2017
Areas walked: Massey Woods

If you have more information about Alabama rot then let us know in the comments below.