Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), commonly known as Alabama rot, often presents as a cutaneous lesion(s) in an otherwise asymptomatic patient. The dog may subsequently develop clinical signs of acute kidney injury (AKI). In these cases, the prognosis seems to be poor.
Alabama rot was first seen in the 1980s in the USA (at racetracks in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, etc) in racing greyhounds but, from 2012, it has been seen in the UK in multiple dog breeds. The cause is currently unknown, but the annual outbreaks show a distinct seasonal pattern (November to May).1
The skin lesion often begins as an erythematous and tender cutaneous swelling, most frequently affecting the limbs, ventrum, muzzle and oral cavity. They vary in size from pinpoint up to 10 cm in diameter.
The UK cases commonly presented symptomatically well with cutaneous lesions but subsequently developed clinical signs of AKI over a 1-9 day time period (median 4 days). Some dogs present with cutaneous lesions and AKI at the same time whilst another subset may present with azotaemia prior to cutaneous ulceration becoming apparent.
For dogs with cutaneous lesions along with the subsequent development of AKI, histopathology may confirm thrombotic microangiopathy within the kidney, which with the clinical signs and the exclusion of other causes of AKI and the exclusion of DIC, makes CRGV the most likely diagnosis.
Watch The Webinar Vet’s webinar on An update on Alabama Rot by Laura Holm BVM&S CertSAM MRCVS on the 13th December at 8.30pm.
For further information on Alabama Rot check out this related content available on Vetlexicon Canis:
1Stevens KB, Jepson R, Holm LP, Walker DJ, Cardwell JM (2018) Spatiotemporal patterns and agroecological risk factors for cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (Alabama Rot) in dogs in the UK. Vet Rec 183 (16), 502 PubMed.