“Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy” is otherwise known as CRGV or ‘Alabama Rot’, and is in the simplest terms a disease causing small blood clots to form in the blood vessels of the skin and kidney in dogs. These clots form blockages and damage to both the skin and kidney resulting in ulcerations, lesions and renal failure.
Symptoms are initially thought to be ulcers and lesions on the skin, in particular, the paws, legs, under carriage and mouth and tongue. Now obviously dogs cut their paws and legs running around the park or garden quite often, so let’s not all rush to the vet with every minor skin issue. Other symptoms from more progressed cases are lethargy and tiredness in your dog, a loss of appetite, vomiting in general, diarrhoea and both of the latter may contain blood. However, i feel it is extremely important to note that the skin ulcerations and lesions are not always present! Your dog may just suddenly seem not themselves and begin presenting with bloody fluid from both ends…It is an almost dreaded ‘Parvo’ like disease shutting down the kidney function causing havoc across the entire system of organs. A dog can go downhill in a matter of 12 hours and in 9 out of 10 cases: it is fatal.
So how do you prevent your dog from getting CRGV? Well to be honest; the vets don’t know. There is no vaccine against CRGV currently as the exact cause and specific bacteria causing this outbreak is unknown. The only tips available is to wash your dog down thoroughly after every walk paying attention to the paws and legs and in particular, to dry these areas thoroughly. Other than that, the areas of known cases in the UK is currently at 56 and i suspect many more cases left uncounted.
If your dog appears to be showing signs of or to have contracted CRGV what should you do? Get to your vet. The most important thing is topical treatment of the lesions, IV fluids, nutrients, electrolytes and vitamins as well as glucose. A dog who is not eating and is vomiting and excreting blood needs to be seen immediately to give the dog a chance of fighting off the disease. However, it really needs to be noted here that even once in the care of a vet, they will be dumbfounded as their is no cure or treatment for this disease. Application of antibiotics will negatively influence the already failing renal system and may push the kidney beyond its toxin limit.
There are cases of dogs becoming ill with bloody excretions and vomit across the country with outraged owners suspecting the vaccination “Lepto 4” as the cause. We ourselves as a rescue lost a mama dog and 5 of her 7 puppies and another 4 month old pup to an unknown “infection or disease” that caused loss of appetite and severe sudden weight loss in a matter of 12 hours followed by extreme bloody vomit and blood coming out of the back end like a tap had been turned on…. The antibiotics seemed to make the situation worse and we lost all of them. There was no raised temperature present in any of these cases which would be a usual indicator of infection and illness.
CRGV, Alabama Rot, what ever you wish to call it, is fast becoming a deadly disease with absolutely no information or medical aid to battle it. Anderson Moores Veterinary group are currently the leading UK researchers on it and need urgent funding.
Forget Parvo; CRGV is here UK. RIP Miami who we lost to “Unknown” January 2017.