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Dog Dies After Contracting Deadly Alabama Rot

A 2-year-old dog in the United Kingdom has died after contracting the deadly Alabama Rot disease, BBC News reports.

Hannah Povey, who resides in Farringdon, Hampshire, believes her Cocker Spaniel, Betsy, caught the fatal disease when they were out on a walk. Put another way, it was only after rambling through Chawton Park Wood in South Downs National Park that the dog fell seriously ill. Even though veterinary specialists did everything they could to save her, Betsy’s health continued to deteriorate rapidly. Unfortunately, the choice was made to put the dog down.

A heartbroken Povey is now calling on pet owners to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of Alabama Rot — also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRVG).

Timeline of dog’s death from Alabama Rot  

Povey said she got concerned when her highly energetic canine suddenly started limping, stopped eating, and developed a sore on her paw.   

“I took her to the vets and blood tests didn’t come back with any results,” Povey stated. Continuing, she added: “We went home with antibiotics and painkillers for her but she still wasn’t eating. We took her back to the vets but … we were told there was nothing more they could do and we were called in to say goodbye to her.”

Later, Veterinarians from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists confirmed that Betsy died from Alabama Rot. The incurable disease damages blood vessels in both the kidneys and skin. As a result, it causes visible skin sores and leads to acute kidney failure.

“I had heard of it but I had no idea what it could do or how quickly it could happen — that’s the scary thing,” Povey said. 

Now, veterinary specialists will use Betsy’s body to conduct more research on the lethal disease.

Povey feels this is a meaningful way to memorialize her beloved dog. “It is difficult but if it stops one other dog getting sick then it’s worth it,” she shared.

Alabama Rot: Symptoms and precautions to take

While the exact cause of Alabama Rot is still unknown, the disease usually only affects canines. According to the U.K.’s leading animal welfare charity — The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, better known as RSPCA — environmental factors such as wet, muddy conditions somehow trigger the rare disease.

Scientists have estimated that Alabama Rot, which was first detected in the U.K. in 2012, has a mortality rate of around 90%.

Common symptoms of the brutal disease include:

  • Skin sores
  • Reduced appetite
  • Visible swelling
  • Red patches
  • Skin defects
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy 
  • Unquenchable thirst

The RSPCA has cautioned pet owners to always thoroughly wash off any mud on their canines after taking walks in wet, muddy areas. According to the group, doing so minimizes your dog’s risk of contracting the fatal disease.

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