Dog Flesh-Eating Disease “Alabama Rot” Confirmed In New Cases

Unsplash / Marcus Cramer, Twitter / ITV News

Dog owners are being warned after a series of new diagnoses have cropped up of a potentially fatal disease known as Alabama Rot.

This disease can affect any breed of dogs and can sometimes be easy to miss if your dog has a long or plush coat. If not caught early enough, Alabama Rot can turn quickly into sudden kidney failure which can be fatal.

Cases of Alabama Rot have been rising in the United Kingdom since 2012 and in the last couple of years, veterinary professionals have been warning dog owners more and more.

Four new cases have been recently confirmed in Oakham and Rutland. Alabama Rot attacks the flesh of the dog first and then can lead to further health complications. According to, the cause of the disease is not known but it’s suspected to come from exposure to muddy fields and parks.

The UK’s RSPCA lists the signs of Alabama Rot as follows:

  • Skin legions below the knee / elbow or on the face / bottom of chest or abdomen
  • Visible swelling, red patches, or defects in the skin (ulcer, etc)
  • Not Eating
  • Excessive Drinking
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness, lethargy, and other signs of diminished kidney function

Because animal experts do not know how the disease occurs, they recommend avoiding muddy areas if possible and thoroughly washing your dog of all mud and grime after going outside in muddy or rainy conditions.

Experts say that the disease is still considered very rare, however, only about 20% of affected animals pull through after being diagnosed.