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Alabama Rot


Guest mutley
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Guest mutley

Hi everyone,

 

I'm new to this forum, I live in the UK and i was hopeing someone could help me :) About a month ago my dog (greyhound) was diagnosed with Alabama rot!

The vets over here arn't quite sure how to treat him, as they say as far as they know he's the only one that has contacted the disease.

About a month ago he started to walk very lame on his near fore leg, there was no swelling the next day, but we decided to get his elbow xrayed, as that was where he seemed to be very sore. Nothing showed up on xray, and we were given metacam. Then the very next day, his leg swelled to twice the size, and thats no exageration, we took him back to the vets, and they seemed very confused as they said it showed all signs of a snake bite, but most snake bites swell up within 2hrs, and Mutleys leg swelled up about 30 hrs after. The day after his leg went a very dark colour, and the skin started to tear, after a couple of days his leg was almost completeley raw. It looked disgusting, also his waterworks were very slow, and the vet said to fear the worst as his kidneys could fail. Fortunately i feel he has got over the worst now.

He lost 6 kilo's in weight at one time, but thankfully he is now putting weight back on, and he's getting back to his old self, (being naughty) :rolleyes:

Only problem i have now is his raw leg, its gradually shrinking but its a very slow progress.

Mutley wears a tee shirt, which i cut the leg out for his good leg, and then fold the tee shirt up his belly, so he's not too hot. I change the tee shirts 2 or 3 times a day and bathe his leg. He's also still on anti biotics.

I just wondered if anyone else on this forum has experienced this awful experience, and how or if their dogs got over it? and what their wounds look like now?

Also is there any chance of them getting it again??

I dont think i could put my poor dog through it again :(

 

Many thanks

 

Maria

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I always thought that Alabama rot was a food-borne illness, but I'm probably way off.

 

Perhaps he got bit by a spider or something and had an allergic reaction?

 

Hopefully others can offer more info...Hope your boy is back to normal soon!


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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I am VERY surprised to hear about a case of Alabama Rot over here. Was he diagnosed at a specialist centre, or by a vet who has experience of this disease? :unsure

 

I understand that this is a disease mainly found in dogs fed a '4-D' raw diet. This is raw meat from dead, diseased or dying animals, or meat that has failed to pass the meat inspection once slaughtered. Even then, most healthy dogs seem to manage to survive on such meat on a long term basis, but the very young, the elderly or the sick may succumb to the pathogens in it. As I understand it, racing kennels over here don't feed such meat raw - I'm not sure it's even legal to pass it into the food chain uncooked.

 

How did they differentiate between septic arthritis and AR? Did he have any labwork done? I'd be interested to hear.

 

 

 

Just wanted to add: We don't have any dangerous spiders over here. Unlikely it's that.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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If it was Alabama Rot, he'd be LONG dead by now.

 

Alabama Rot is an idiopathic disease... there haven't been enough cases to know just how a dog gets it. Meat as a source of the disease has long ago been dismissed as a possibility. Climate and kennel conditions are more likely culprits, but again, there haven't been enough cases to track down a single cause.

 

Now to your dog.... a culture and sensitivity on the infected area will tell you if the antibiotics he's on are sufficient. Beyond that, there are many products for speeding wound healing, but most are only appropriate for smaller cuts/abrasions, etc. Gently debriding with mild antibacterial soap and water every day to couple of days will probably be your best bet.

 

Lynn

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Guest mutley

My other half who is a trainer over here sent pictures to a vet called Guillermo Couto? ( not sure on spelling) whom is based in America and has also spoken to him, and he's quite sure thats what it is, although he said 25% of greyhounds die from kidney failure. He also sent the pics on to another vet called Daniel Smeak, Who's suppose to be a top vet. He said Mutley should heal by second intension, although a skin flap would help heal faster.

Mutleys fed on Tin food and biscuit, or what ever were eating :rolleyes: He never eats raw meat, so i really dont know how he got it.

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I have used hydrotherapy to treat a dog with a spider bite where her skin had died leaving muscle exposed. It involved taking her into the shower 2-3 times a day and gently (with antibacterial soap and a latex glove on my hand) washing away the pus and scabbing that was forming so the wound could heal from the inside out. This prevented large amounts of scar tissue from forming, and today she is a happy, normal, fast greyhound. Here is the link to her pictures and recovery. http://www.gpacentraltexas.org/news/iza.html

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I wonder if it was from the tinned meat, or if he possibly ate something dead outside?

 

Researchers at Kansas State University have done a study to try and determine the cause of Alabama Rot. After eliminating several possibilities, they took healthy dogs and fed them 4D Meat in an attempt to duplicate the symptoms of Alabama Rot. The study concluded that the Bacteria E. coli, which is found in 4D Meat is the cause of Alabama Rot.

 

and from Antech (don't these two contradict each other?)

 

Clinical Disorders

Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy ("Alabama rot"), a disease unique to grey-hounds, typically affects young adults of either sex and episodes can be cyclical or recurrent both during active training or racing and after retirement or adoption. The cause is poorly understood but there appears to be genetic predisposition and similarities to hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombo-cytopenic purpura in people. Most episodes are mild to moderate with malaise and inappetence along with non-painful swelling and edema of one or more limbs. Skin lesions may develop which vary in size and are reddened, tender, crusted swellings that can progress to deep, sharply demarcated slow-healing ulcers. These are nonpruritic and found mainly on the hocks, stifles, or medial thighs, although lesions may also occur on the front legs, thorax and ventrum. In about 25% of cases, renal failure may occur along with the skin lesions or 7-10 days after the onset of skin lesions. The prognosis is guarded for dog with renal failure. Laboratory results usually reveal mild anemia, thrombocytopenia, hypoalbuminemia, and proteinuria. Treatment is symptomatic with topical antibacterials, systemic antibiotics such as cephalexin, and fluid support. Edematous extremities can be gently massaged to promote venous and lymphatic drainage.

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Guest mutley

Babsc have to say Mutley's leg looks identical to your photos, perhaps it was a spider after all :o

Looking at Iza's photo's he also looks like he has a swollen elbow, same as Mutley.

Did Iza have any on his belly?

Thanks for your photo's Babsc they are a great help, i would send photo's of Mutley but im afraid i dont know how to :rolleyes:

 

Thanks again

 

Maria

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Burpdog, how old is that KState study? The last reading I did on Alabama Rot led me to believe they're back to "unknown cause", though food-borne wasn't ruled out... they just couldn't say it was the cause.

 

I've seen two dogs with it... both died and it didn't take long. As LynnM said, I think if this dog had Alabama Rot, he'd be dead by now.

 

I'm surprised Dr. Couto would be so definite, having not seen the dog...

 

Best wishes to you with your dog!

Pam

GPA-Tallahassee/Southeastern Greyhound Adoption

"Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance." Pearl S. Buck

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The other thing that makes me question the diagnosis of AL Rot/Greenetrack is that in the cases where it has occured, to my knowledge, that it's been exclusively a disease of hot, humid southern USA climates (IOW, a "tropical medicine" issue). The poster is in the UK.

 

As for treatment if it was AL Rot/Greenetrack, the only thing that's showed even limited activity, to my knowledge, is Flagyl at pretty high dosages. I'd certainly do a culture/sensitivity to see what organism we're dealing with, as Flagyl likely wouldn't be a good choice for whatever organism it actually is if it's not AL Rot.

 

Lynn

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Guest lotsogreysmom

There is a lady from NJ that one of her dogs had Alabama Rot and it survived and is very healthy now. I will see if I can get her to come here and discuss this.

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Guest lotsogreysmom

Here is the lady's email addy I was referring to: Naojeca@aol.com. She couldn't register on GT for some reason so she told me to post her addy so you can contact her.

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I will have to check on the K state study. Since it is so contradictory to Antech, I bet it's old.

 

Dr. Couto saw pictures and I believe emailed with dog's vet and may have come upon the conclusion from pictures and test results.

 

 

 

After reading this thread last night, I surfed a bit and found references to the Kansas study and the study cited was from 1993. I think that Antech thing is from 2003 (I saw that as well).


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Buddy had Alabama Rot when I got him. From what you described, it sounds very similiar to the symptoms that he had. We treated him VERY aggressivly with IV fluids (at least 1 1/2 liters per day) to flush out his kidneys, and strong IV antibiotics. He quit peeing blood after about 4 days and was doing much better after 2 weeks of treatment. The leg wound took much longer to heal. We initially used hydrotherapy to decrease the swelling, and topical antibiotic creams with bandaging. He ended up losing a lot of skin from that leg and I thought that it would never close up and we would have to end up amputating it, but I started using sugar wraps at about one month, and one month later the skin had granulated in and covered it. He had so much scar tissue on that hock that he was stiff on it for about a year, but now, if you didn't see the ugly scar tissue, you wouldn't know that he had ever had a problem with it. Alabama Rot is NOT a death sentence if it is treated aggressively and your pup can lead a normal happy life after it. Please contact me anytime if you have any questions and I hope that your pup feels better soon!

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Guest mutley

Thank's for that information Yat4, very interesting. It's been about 5 wks now since this all started with Mutley, and he is doing great, although still needs to put a couple more kilo's on.

I have taken Mutley off the antibiotic's now, the wound however, which he lost a lot of skin off, has probably halfed in size, although there is still a large portion to grow back. I am still washing leg 2 or 3 times a day, and keep it covered.

Mutt's going back to vets tomorrow, so will be interesting to see what the vet says, as he hasnt seen him for 2 wks now.

Thanks for all your post's they were very helpful.

I do have pic's of Mutleys leg at the start, and what he's leg is like now, i will try and post them asap :rolleyes:

 

Many thanks

 

Maria

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  • 1 year later...
Guest harry
I've stopped crying long enough to type this plea for help. Our Grey, PopTart, has been diagnosed with Alabama Rot. I know, I know many say it can't be that or she'd be dead. In some research I've done, if you catch it in time to avoid kidney involvement, and ward off infection from the wounds, they will survive. We are testing for Leptospirosis just to see, but she is a classic Alabama rot presentation. Here is the story....

Last week Tues. in the evening she had a chase with a cat in our yard and stopped at the fence and gave a yelp. Later that evening she was limping a little. The next AM she has a swollen wrist and would not bear any weight. We immediately went to the vet and they did an x-ray which showed no break. They thought maybe she did some damage to a tendon or ligament. We went home on anti-inflammatories and Tramadol with strict bedrest. That evening her toes were all swollen. As an RN myself, I know fluids can settle before healing begins. By the next afternoon her whole leg was swollen to her shoulder and her skin was very red. Off the the vet again. They gave her an Injection of antibiotic and sent us home with a daily dose and drew labs. At that time they mentioned Alabama Rot, but were hoping for a cellulitis or vasculitis. Two hours later, after making a potty outside, she came in and while she was drinking there was blood dripping off her leg. Upon exam she had blisters that were oozing. I called the Grey adoption group for advice of where to take her as my vet was now closed for the night. I got her in the ER. By the time I got there she has a wound 4" long and 2" wide. They admitted her to the ICU to watch her awaiting labs from my vet and give her IV pain meds, do an ultrasound, etc. She was drinking so the did not need to start fluids. They also mentioned Alabama Rot due to the swiftness that this all happened. PopTart stayed there two days. They did hydrotherapy on the leg and the skin just kept sloughing off. All her labwork shows no kidney involvement and so far her skin is nice and pink. She has been home since Sat PM. She seems fairly comfortable, considering, and she is able to bear weight now. The ICU MD gave us some supplies and thought daily dressing changes would suffice. Upon returning home, I investigated the cost of the supplies and was flabbergasted! I was told by both the MD's that hydrogel pads would be the best on the wounds, then to wrap with soft cast wrap, then wrap with a stretch gauze and over that vet wrap. Our poor pup is missing a lot of skin from her leg and we're needing 2 hydrogel pkgs per dressing. That stuff in very expensive! Another fly in the ointment is that now she has lost skin in her armpit on that leg and is eating the dressing off that area which is requiring more dressing changes. I called the MD yesterday and she said I could use Animax is $ was a problem for the hydrogels. Other Grey owners suggested EMT gel ($10-14/ 1oz tube, can't afford) Her leg is still losing skin and some of these small tubes will last only 1-2 dressings. Animax comes in a big tube, so that looks like my option. I now have a bigger problem, between 6-7:30AM she ate off the dressing again covering her armpit and licked herself down to muscle. We've redressed her wound and I'm going to the MD again to get advice on how to dress this better if there is another way I'm missing. I was hoping for any advice on wound ointments or products that may work that could be used here that

I may buy in bulk. I'm looking into discount dressings, and have made a plea to friends and family to send any extra dressing supplies my way. I don't know what to do. This has all happened so quickly, and the scope hits me sometimes which sends me into tears. When she stops losing skin, it will be 6 to 8 weeks recovery. Thats a lot of dressings! I appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks! Michelle

 

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I get a "not found" error with that link.

 

Kris

sorry... hte library portion of our website just updated this afternoon... try this link:

 

http://www.animalmedicalcentreofmedina.com...Packet%2008.pdf

 

Scan down to question #22.

 

 

Bill

Lady

Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France

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Guest cendrine

E. coli (and especially E. coli O157) is carried by about 30% of cattle. It could show up in meat, water, soil and any produce picked up from contaminated soil (it has been found in unpasteurized apple cider and spinach, for example).

 

It usually causes problems in humans after it has been ingested - vomiting, diarrhea (mucus and blood), cramps and, if it passes beyond the bowel to the blood stream, it may cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, kidney failure and blood coagulation disorders.

 

I don't think it would be a stretch to consider that Alabama Rot could have been contracted by other means than eating contaminated meat. I haven't done any literature search but I suspect that this possibility just has not been explored well enough, yet.

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