top of page

Top Tips On Alabama Rot - What To Look For In Small Breed Dogs

Updated: Feb 22

Dachshund with the vet

Understanding and Addressing Alabama Rot for Dog Owners

Alabama rot, also referred to as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy), is an infrequent yet severe affliction that poses a significant concern for dogs.

Though shrouded in mystery, here is a concise guide to aid you in identifying signs and taking prompt action.

The Enigma Unveiled

Alabama rot, or CRGV, is a condition that affects dogs across breeds.

The initial manifestation includes skin lesions, progressing to kidney involvement.

Despite the enigmatic origin of the ailment, it is linked to cold and damp weather. Thus, the majority of instances occur from November to May.


"Alabama rot is a rare but serious disease affecting dogs. It damages the blood vessels in the skin and kidneys, which causes visible sores on the skin and can lead to severe organ dysfunction and ultimately kidney failure." RSPCA


Swift Response Matters

Should you observe inexplicable inflamed sores on your dog, particularly on their face, feet, or legs, a direct visit to a vet is imperative.

Acting promptly holds paramount importance, as unchecked, Alabama rot can lead to kidney failure within a matter of days.

Indicators of its transition to the kidneys encompass lethargy, appetite reduction, vomiting, and changes in drinking and urination patterns.

Navigating the Path Ahead

An early diagnosis at the skin lesion phase generally indicates a positive prognosis.

Your vet will prescribe fitting treatment and care, often leading to a complete recovery.

However, if Alabama rot progresses to the kidneys, more specialised, in-house veterinary dog health attention is necessary.

Regrettably, not all dogs will overcome this stage.


"Alabama rot, also known as CRGV (cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy), is a very rare, potentially life-threatening disease that blocks and damages the blood vessels in a dog's skin and kidneys. Affected dogs often develop ulcers or sores (usually on the bottom part of their legs) and generally go on to develop kidney failure, which is often fatal." The Kennel Club


Preventive Measures

Given the enigmatic origins, prevention remains a challenge.

For those who venture outdoors with their dogs in damp and muddy conditions, it is advised to meticulously cleanse and dry their legs and feet upon returning home.

The most crucial facet remains vigilance—staying attuned to the telltale signs of Alabama rot.

What is Alabama rot?

Dogs can get Alabama rot, sometimes called Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV).

It produces noticeable skin sores and destroys the kidneys and skin's blood vessels, which can result in severe organ malfunction and, eventually, renal failure.

What kind of Alabama rot should I watch out for?

While some dogs with CRGV have developed ulcers on their heads, muzzles, tongues, flanks, and bellies, most dogs affected by the disease commonly have skin ulcers on their legs or paws.

The ulcers might appear as little as a small cut or red region that could be mistaken for a sting, bruise, or cut pad. The ulcers vary in intensity.

How do I stop my dog from getting CRGV?

Giving precise preventative recommendations is hugely challenging because the origin of CRGV is unclear.

We are still determining if washing your dog in any muddy or wet location when out for a walk is required or beneficial. Still, think about it.

To prevent CRGV, where should I walk my dog?

Cases initially were restricted to the New Forest region.

Nevertheless, this is no longer the case; dogs from all over the UK have been suspected or proven to have CRGV.

It is not yet advised to avoid walking your dog in certain places, even if an environmental explanation for this ailment has yet to be ruled out.

To what extent is CRGV common?

From November 2012 to March 2018, 153 instances of CRGV were confirmed in the UK.

A seasonal distribution is noted, with most occurrences occurring annually between November and May.

It is crucial to remember that this is still a reasonably uncommon ailment in dogs compared to other issues we face.

Which breeds of dogs are susceptible to CRGV?

The recent instances of CRGV in the UK have afflicted dogs of many various breeds, both large and tiny, of either sex and of a wide age range.

This is in contrast to the early reports, which mainly impacted greyhounds.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider

At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, we prioritise the health and well-being of your cherished furry family members.

While we specialise in catering to small breed dogs and toy dog breeds, our commitment to their welfare extends beyond VIP doggy holidays.

Keep your furry friend safe by heeding these insights, and entrust their care to Mary Puppins in times of need.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins dog boarding Cheshire

Mary Puppins, alabama rot, small breed dogs

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


Mary Puppins Pet Parents' Blog



We provide free, useful information for pet parents of small dog breeds UK. 

Please be aware that our opinions may differ to yours and that's ok. We encourage healthy, positive discussion. 


We all love our small dogs! And want them to live a long and happy life. 

Mary Puppins Small Dog Expert Blog
bottom of page