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There's been an outbreak of Alabama Rot in a dog near to my house. This raised concerns for my pets. I tried to find some information on what causes it and what preventative measures to take but much of the information online seems vague and contradictory.

Can anyone provide some solid information on the latest thinking around this disease? Its causes, effective preventative measures, etc?

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According to the most recent scholarly article I can find on the subject, no one knows what causes this disease yet. Specifically:

[cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) aka 'Alabama Rot'] is a disease of unknown aetiology carrying a poor prognosis when azotaemia develops.

Vet Rec. 2015 Apr 11;176(15):384. doi: 10.1136/vr.102892. Epub 2015 Mar 23. Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy as a cause of acute kidney injury in dogs in the UK. Holm LP1, Hawkins I2, Robin C3, Newton RJ3, Jepson R4, Stanzani G4, McMahon LA1, Pesavento P5, Carr T6, Cogan T7, Couto CG8, Cianciolo R9, Walker DJ1. web abstract

The only preventative measure that I could find suggested was that you wash your dog after each walk, but there's no evidence that washing helps (and dogs that have been washed have also become ill).

Essentially, until they are able to figure out what causes it, there will not be any good recommendations on how to avoid the disease. The best advice I found suggested that if your dog develops any sores or wounds, you should go immediately to the vet for advice. Dogs who are not given supportive therapy for their kidneys quickly tend to have worse outcomes than dogs who are treated promptly.

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  • "While no exact cause is known, water/food related cause, or bad water or food that would make the dog sick, have been ruled out. Some veterinary experts theorize it is a parasite, others theorize it is bacterial. It is more widely believed that Alabama rot is caused by toxins produced by E. coli." - from Liam's wiki reference
    – D. Tunus
    Mar 11 '16 at 10:12
  • @D.Tanya from the full paper "Faecal culture, performed in seven dogs, yielded E. coli. PCRs for E. coli virulence genes (eaeA, stx 1 and 2, LT1 and ST1 and 2) were negative in all seven, providing no evidence for infection with enteropathogenic E. coli, verotoxigenic E. coli or enterotoxigenic E. coli." Again, it's just not known what is causing this disease.
    – Zaralynda
    Mar 11 '16 at 13:16
  • Ooh, apologies.
    – D. Tunus
    Mar 11 '16 at 13:55

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