Your Pet's Health


22nd April 2014

Alabama Rot Like disease


Idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, otherwise known as CRGV or Alabama rot is a disease that has been known about since the late 1980’s. It was initially thought to only affect Greyhounds and the dogs reported with the disease in the USA presented with kidney failure and/or skin lesions. The cause of the disease remains unknown.


Since December 2012 a number of suspected cases with similar presentation have been reported in the United Kingdom, although as the cause has yet to be identified, no link has been made between the two conditions. Some of these were from the New Forest. However, cases have also been identified in other counties throughout the UK including cases at a vets in Leigh, Lancashire.  


The skin lesions are a symptom of the disease rather than being traumatic wounds from an injury. Typically the skin lesions have been below the knee or elbow. They may present as a focal swelling, a patch of red skin or a defect in the skin (like an ulcer). Over the subsequent two to seven days the affected dogs have developed clinical signs of kidney failure which can include vomiting, reduced appetite and tiredness.


It is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected. Most skin lesions will not be caused by this disease and most cases of kidney failure will have another cause.


If your dog is affected, early recognition of the disease and aggressive management is likely to lead to the best outcome. Without knowing the trigger for the disease it is impossible to give specific advice about walking your dog and it is again important to stress that the case numbers are very low and that this disease is not isolated to the New Forest. The disease does not appear to pass from dog to dog.

For more information:-

If you are concerned about your dog please speak to your vet.


One of the responsibilities of pet ownership is to allow your pets to enjoy good health.  One way of doing this is to ensure that your pet has a regular, annual health check with your vet to include vaccination against several diseases. 

Normally, it is advisable for kittens at nine weeks old, puppies at six to eight weeks old to be given an initial course of two vaccination injections and these should then be followed by a booster vaccination on an annual basis.  Rabbits should receive a Myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease vaccine from 5 weeks of age with an annual booster thereafter.  At the same time as vaccination, your vet will give your pet a thorough health check to make sure there are no other problems. 

The key vaccinations you need to protect your pet against are for dogs: (a) Parvovirus,  (b)Distemper, (c )Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus),  (d) Leptospirosis and (e) Kennel Cough (infectious bronchitis), (f) Para-Influenza.  

Cats should be vaccinated against: (a) Feline Leukaemia virus, (b) Cat Flu and (c ) Feline Enteritis.  

Rabbits should be vaccinated against:  (a) Myxomatosis and (b) Viral Haemorrhagic Disease  (VHD).  

Although some of these diseases are treatable, some are fatal and it is therefore wise to vaccinate against them to prevent severe discomfort for your pet and stress and anxiety for yourself.  If you have an older animal, it is never too late to start a vaccination programme and your vet will be able to advise you on this.  Older animals lack a strong immune system so it is important to keep their boosters up-to-date. 

It is also important to remember that most kennels and catteries will not take pets for boarding unless the pets have an up-to-date vaccination record.  Accordingly, it is wise to ensure that your pets have their annual booster.  If more than 12 months pass after your pet’s last booster vaccination, your pet will have to start a vaccination course again as its resistance will have deteriorated considerably. 

Remember, vaccinate before it’s too late – it could save their lives.

(Info supplied by Heather Eubank)


Kennel Cough, or Infectious Tracheobronchitis as it is properly known, is a highly contagious disease in dogs.  The cause is quite a complex interaction of common respiratory viruses and a bug called Bordetella Bronchiseptica.  It is the Bordetella Bronchiseptica infection that causes the very bad cases.

Once your dog has been exposed to the infection, it will generally take five to seven days before the signs of the disease are seen.  Kennel cough usually causes a dry, hacking cough, runny nose and sometimes sneezing.  The gagging cough and retching associated with this disease are upsetting for your dog and you.  Depending on its severity, the signs of kennel cough can last from a few days to several weeks.  However, even after the coughing has stopped, your dog can remain infectious for up to three months.

Kennel Cough is a social disease in that it is spread by very close contact.  When the dog coughs the bug is expelled in droplets and will immediately die unless inhaled by another dog.  Accordingly, a dog can only pick up the infection when it shares common air space with an infected dog.  This is one of the reasons that the illness has adopted the term “kennel cough”.  However, dogs can pick up Kennel Cough in parks, the street, at a dog show – anywhere that dogs meet.  Boarding kennels are an ideal environment for the disease to spread rapidly as large numbers of dogs are kept in unusually close contact.

Any reputable kennel will insist on a kennel cough vaccination prior to admitting a dog for boarding.  This is an additional vaccination to the annual booster injection and needs to be administered by your vet at least 72 hours prior to going into kennels.  Please note, however, that some kennels require the vaccine to be given up to 10 days prior to boarding – check this with the kennels you choose. 

Puppies can be vaccinated from just two weeks of age.  The vaccination is unusual in that it is given via the nose.  This is due to the way the vaccination works.  Instead of producing antibodies in the blood, it produces a local immunity in that the antibodies are produced in cells lining the nasal cavity.  This means they are ready to attack the bug when inhaled.  The kennel cough vaccination lasts from 6 months to a year, depending on the vaccine used by your veterinary surgeon,  and will need to be repeated if another visit to the kennels is planned.

If your dog has not been vaccinated against kennel cough and contracts the disease it is worth having the vaccination immediately as it will help to shorten the length of the infection.

So, when making your holiday plans, entering your dog for a dog show or just going for a walk in the park, don’t forget to ensure that your dog is protected against infectious bronchitis.

(Info supplied by Heather Eubank)