Alabama Rot: 5 Signs To Watch Out For

alabama rot

Hey everyone… not so much a training tip this week more something to watch out for, take a look at our post about Alabama Rot:

Alabama Rot – it’s the flesh-eating disease that every dog owner is terrified of, and it’s sweeping across the country. Since November 2012, it’s caused at least 60 dog deaths in Britain and now vets everywhere are calling for owners to be extra vigilant.

But what exactly is Alabama Rot? Also known as CRGV, it’s believed to be caused by bacteria that are transferred from dog to dog by a parasite. It’s fatal in around 90 per cent of cases and it can cause death within just three days of infection – so acting fast is essential.

If you’re training a dog, you are likely to already be well attuned to your four-legged friend’s behaviour. This goes in your favour because although there is no known way to prevent Alabama Rot, it can be cured if it’s picked up early enough.

At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we aren’t just dog training experts – we also know a thing or two about doggy health. So here are the top 5 signs of Alabama Rot to watch out for…


Alabama Rot has affected dogs in various parts of Britain, but there are certain areas where more dogs have been affected, and therefore where your dog is more at risk. These include Wiltshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire. Seek advice from your local vet for more information.


When training a dog, it’s likely that you will have a routine or schedule so you should quickly notice that your dog is lethargic. He may want to sleep when he would usually be excited about training, playing or going for a walk. Of course, it’s possible he’s just having an off day but if the tiredness continues then it should be considered a red flag.

Skin lesions

Keep your eyes peeled for wounds, lesions or blisters on your dog’s legs or face as this can be one of the first warning signs of Alabama Rot. It’s thought that the disease can be picked up from woodland areas so be sure to wipe any mud off your dog’s legs after a walk.

Reduced Appetite

If you are training a dog, it’s likely that you use food as part of your regime as an incentive or reward. Most dogs enjoy this aspect of training so you should quickly notice if they are off their food. Reduced appetite can mean many different things, so don’t panic if you notice it – but do bear in mind that it can be a symptom of Alabama Rot. Give your vet a call to be on the safe side.


Alabama Rot attacks the kidneys, causing kidney failure. One of the main symptoms of this is vomiting. It’s normal for dogs to occasionally vomit for a benign reason, perhaps because they ate something that upset their tummy.  But it’s always something you should be vigilant about – and if you notice it alongside any of the other signs mentioned here then it’s time to get to a vet as quickly as possible.

danny-rouseAbout the Author: Danny Rouse is one of 4 directors of Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, a family business based in Exmouth that has gone from a small local firm to an internationally recognised brand in the dog sport market. His role focuses on customer satisfaction and driving the business forward. In his spare time he enjoys long walks with his dog Horatio and loves sampling good food out and about in Devon. Danny and Horatio also train regularly at East Bowerland Farm with Devon Dogs.

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