Alabama Rot Disease

You may have heard things about Alabama Rot but how much do you actually know? Alabama rot is on the rise in the UK and has been confirmed close to home in county Durham, but how big of a threat is it to your dog?

Alabama Rot was first identified amongst greyhounds in the state of Alabama in the 1980s (hence the name). The mysterious disease presented with ulcer-like skin sores and/or sudden kidney failure in affected dogs. Unfortunately it is not yet fully understood what causes the disease, only that the clinical signs of dogs effected are relatively the same.

Since November 2012, a small number of dogs with similar clinical signs to what is described for Alabama Rot, have been reported across
the UK. Although the greatest number were seen in and around the New Forest region of Hampshire both confirmed and unconfirmed. By July 2014 a total of 44 cases had been confirmed across the UK. Alabama Rot is clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy or CRGV for short, which basically means an unknown cause that affects the skin (cutaneous) and the kidneys (renal).

The first signs of the disease are normally identified as skin lesions and sores that have not been caused by an injury. These sores are most commonly found around the legs and feet and appear as a distinctive swelling, open reddened and ulcerated skin, these usually develop within approximately 2-7 days. Once infected dogs can develop signs of sudden kidney failure. These signs include lethargy, vomiting, reduced hunger and in some in some cases abdominal pain.

As there is no known cause of Alabama rot (Scientists are still currently investigating the cause), there is no known way to prevent your dog from contracting the disease. It is suspected the disease spreads from muddy and wooded areas, therefore it has been suggested that owners should be washing their dogs feet, legs and underbelly straight after a walk. Unlike the Alabama rot that was presented in US Greyhounds, the disease in the UK does not follow a pattern therefore can affect any breed, age, sex or weight of the dog.

If your dog becomes infected with Alabama Rot or develops any of the clinical symptoms it is important to seek veterinary advice immediately. The best outcome in treating the disease is with early intensive veterinary care. Your vet will treat the skin sores and kidney failure through intensive care and hospitalisation which will include intravenous fluids to support the kidneys.

Although some infected dogs have successfully recovered after treatment, many do not, – it is estimated that treatment is only successful in around 20-30% of cases. The Percentage of dogs in the UK who have contracted the disease is very small however it is vital that you understand the problem and know what to look out for.

Our staff have been fully advised of the changes found in the UK and can help answer any questions you may have, If you are worried at all then please give the surgery a call on 01670457271.

Lauren our nurse is off on her travels …Can you help her raise money for an awesome cause?

Lauren one of our RVNs is off to the amazing Thailand in November!. No she’s not going for a relaxing sunny holiday she’s off to work at animal sanctuary on Koh Mak Island for 3 weeks!!!

We are all unbelievably proud of Lauren for taking on such a task and we know she is going to help make a huge difference to the lives of many of the animals that inhabit Koh Mak while she is there…..BUT we don’t want to just stop at helping these animals while she is there we want the help to continue when she comes home…and yes unfortunately Lauren you do have to come home we NEED you here too!.

Lauren leaves the UK on Thursday 1st of November and arrives in Koh Mak on the 3rd of November she has a looonnggg three days travelling and she’s going at it alone!

The Island of Koh Mak is located in an archipelago of 50+ Islands on the far eastern seaboard of Thailand; it is home to lots of strays and wildlife.
The clinic Lauren will be working at as a nursing volunteer, cares for and provides help and treatment for the many strays on the Island, it also provides care for the animals belonging to the Temples, and for pets belonging to the inhabitants and those from the neighbouring island of Cambodia.

The clinic is a non profiting organisation and relies solely on volunteers, the owners and local monks to run it. They fund the whole thing themselves and rely on donations so they can provide the much needed care the animals require.
This not only improves the quality of life for all of the animals they treat but also helps educate their owners on basic animal care.

The animal centre opened in 2015 after a husband and wife visited the island on holiday, they were so taken aback by the help that was needed for the animals they decided to return and open a clinic. The clinic was finally finished in 2017!
Of course we think Lauren is doing an amazing selfless gesture and we are behind her 100%, we hope it will change the lives of many of the animals in Koh Mak and we need your help.

Lauren has set herself the task of raising some much needed funds that this clinic is desperate for. As a practice we will be donating many of the veterinary supplies the clinic needs so Lauren can take them with her, but Lauren also wants to raise as much money as she can, to donate to the clinic so they continue this care.

We know each and every one of our clients will see how amazing this is and we are asking if you can donate any money no matter how small, the clinic and animals of Koh Mak will appreciate every penny and it will be put to good use not only when she visits but for years to come.
This is the link to Laurens just giving page:

Thank you everyone from all the St Clair team


Nail clipping,

For some dogs and their owners its a terrifying subject. The fact is not many dogs like having their feet touched and the noise from the clippers can make the situation seem a lot scarier.

Did you know here at St Clair vets we offer a FREE Nail confidence programme.
This entails regular trips to see our nurses in a free consultation whereby we will assess how anxious your dog is and start a desensitisation programme.
At each visit the nurses will gain your dogs trust allowing them to become more confident not only with visits to the vets but also with having their nails clipped and examined. This starts slow and on the first visit we may not clip your dogs nails. Every step forward is a positive one and we will move forward at the pace your dog is happy with, there will also be lots of treats on hand and of course lots of cuddles if they allow it. We will also aim for you to see the same nurse each time.
Our nail clips service is £11 or FREE if your part of our Happy paws club. You will only pay this fee if we clip your dogs nails. No charge will be made for any of the confidence building appointments.
We have ran this programme for a few years now and we have many dogs who required sedation and muzzling just to examine their feet/ nails. We are now able to clip their nails without any muzzles or sedation.

The programme works and not only does it make the visit less stressful for the dogs it means their owners are less anxious too.
The length of the appointment will vary as we will take as much time as your dog needs.
If you would like more information on this service please contact the practice via message or call us on 01670457271.