A warning has been issued to Wiltshire dog owners after more cases of Alabama Rot were identified in the UK

Veterinary experts have issued a nationwide alert for the deadly disease, as 11 fatalities were confirmed in the final two months of 2023.

This is compared to just five Alabama Rot-related deaths in the rest of the year. 

What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama Rot was first found in the UK in 2012 and has mostly been reported by pet owners who walk their dogs in the countryside.

Most cases are reported during winter and spring when the weather is typically colder and wetter, and it is generally much rarer in the summer months.

It is otherwise known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV).

It damages the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys of dogs, which causes visible sores on the skin and can lead to severe organ dysfunction and kidney failure.

The disease has a 90 per cent mortality rate but the cause of the disease is still unknown, and unfortunately, signs are often detected too late.

How many cases have there been in Swindon?

Swindon has managed to stay relatively clear of Alabama Rot but historically there have been several documented cases in areas surrounding the town including Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. 


Malmesbury: Two cases - December 2019 and April 2018

Chippenham: Two cases -  January 2018 and March 2020

Burton: March 2018

Carterton: February 2020

Hungerford: Two cases - both November 2019

Devizes: September 2020

Marlborough: December 2015

Lambourn: January 2015

Swindon Advertiser: Alabama Rot Map from Vets4PetsAlabama Rot Map from Vets4Pets (Image: Vets4Pets)

What are the signs and symptoms to look out for that your dog might have Alabama Rot? 

Skin lesions: Appearing as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin, or open and ulcer-like. 

Sore skin: Skin sores caused by any known injury, commonly found below the elbow or knee.

Kidney failure: Within 2-7 days outward signs of kidney failure; vomiting, reduced hunger and unusual tiredness

How to stop your pet from getting Alabama Rot

It is thought that the disease is picked up on the paws and legs on muddy walks. 

So owners are advised to always wash off woodland mud as soon as is practically possible. 

To always check for the above signs and symptoms

And to contact a vet immediately if there is any doubt or concern.