New Forest dog deaths - is it Alabama Rot (CRGV)?

Recent New Forest dog deaths and whether they relate to Alabama Rot (CRGV) are inconclusive from what I have managed to find out. I'll try to give you an at a glance summary of the latest info of what is known at this time. I'll keep updating too. I walk my rescued Rottie twice a day in the New Forest and obviously hope all remains well, but this disease is occurring all over the country. I understand your concerns about Alabama Rot or CRGV in the New Forest, but every death is a tragedy and can occur anywhere in the country it seems.

New Forest dog deaths - What's happened so far?

If you're wondering when you read the latest bulletin about "CRGV" what happened to Alabama Rot, they are the same disease. For some reason this dog death disease is being called CRGV now. I found this vets information  about CRGV and thought you'd find it useful. You'll see it has spread far and wide now sadly throughout many counties.

Latest updates on New Forest dog deaths

February 2019 

Lots of research has been going on since I last posted any info on this dreadful condition/disease.

I've just seen this on facebook and I think you'll agree it is very informative and also very up to date. Visit VetsNow and see their latest information.

January 2016

I'm sure as a dog owner, like me, you are becoming more aware and concerned about media coverage of this horrid disease. Here are a few things I'm doing, or will do if needed, which I want to share with you, hoping it will put the situation into perspective and also help.

  • Research has found that it has arisen more  from Oct - May each year. Dogs will be wet and muddy at these times.
  • After each extremely muddy New Forest walk, I'm hosing my dog down/washing her thoroughly
  • I examine her after every walk
  • If she licks a specific place repeatedly I check it for skin leasions
  • If I see anything that looks like a lesion she'll go straight to the vet
  • I'm also checking her food. Recently a friend was amazed to find that a quite expensive puppy food she'd bought contained chicken from Thailand. I would never feed my dog food from a foreign country on health and welfare reasons. I don't know if research is going on into dog food content and CRGV or not but I'm not risking it.
  • Please check out this detailed info from Anderson Moores and also follow their Twitter @VetSpecialists and Facebook posts for daily updates.

December 2015 - not in the New Forest but worth being aware of I think.

This message was posted on Facebook and I think it's worth passing it on to you all.
For all dog owners, Swindon has just had it's first case of Alabama Rot, 4 dogs in the Marlborough area have caught it, sadly 1 has died. All dogs had been walked in Woodland areas in sticky mud, wash dogs down may help. Look for lesions on dogs feet, legs and muzzle area, like small ulcers.

Here's a handy link from Anderson Moores for more info.

May 2015

I've just read this interesting info from Vets4Pets. It may help you decide whether to visit the New Forest.

Update from Anderson Moores 7th April 2015 update
"There have been three further confirmed cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) over the past month (Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire). We have also seen two suspected CRGV cases that have survived (from Berkshire and Hampshire). We are not currently waiting on any further pathology results from affected dogs.

A link to the scientific publication on CRGV is provided below. There is a link to a CRGV podcast featuring David Walker on our facebook page

The advice is still the same, check your dog after every walk for unexplained sores or lesions then act quickly if you're not happy especially if they become lethargic.

I found the Facebook interview interesting as it said they still have no further info but it can be picked up or the dog can develop it themselves.

Update from Anderson Moores 23rd March 2015

We are pleased to be able to report that a paper summarising the details of 30 of the confirmed cases has now been published by The Veterinary Record and is freely available online:

It offers very little info for the layman to easily understand I believe. A report on BBC South today stated that no bacterial or viral source has been found as a cause and neither has any environmental cause.

BBC South quote

""The report states: "Continued detailed evaluation will enhance the understanding of the disease and will hopefully help to identify possible triggers. They concluded it was unclear whether this was an emerging disease or one that was previously present but unrecognised.""

This means it is not a New Forest specific disease (we know from previous updates that this disease has been tragically occurring all over the country, not just the New Forest). Southern vets are extremely aware of this disease and so have been actively looking for it but vets in other areas may not have investigated it in the same way a local Hampshire vet stated on the programme tonight.

Updates from Anderson Moores from December 2014 to 27th February 2015

Please follow these updates.

Update 21st October 2014 from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists


"We would like to remind you that we are entering the time of year when cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV or ‘Alabama rot’) have presented. Affected dogs typically present with a lesion(s) on the distal limb although lesions have also been seen on the face and ventrum. The skin lesions may initially appear as superficial erosions and may progress to full thickness ulceration. Initially you may just notice your dog licking at their foot or leg and it may not be clear what the problem is underneath the fur. Lesion size has ranged from 0.5 to 5cm in diameter. There is no apparent breed, age or sex predilection. Forty five dogs have been histopathologically confirmed to have been suffering from CRGV in the UK over the past two years. Cases have been identified across the whole of the UK and some dogs have survived.

At initial presentation with a skin lesion(s) dogs are typically otherwise asymptomatic (feeling well), but over the subsequent one to nine days they develop clinical signs referable to acute kidney injury (AKI). This may include being very thirsty, depressed, off their food or vomiting. Some patients will present with skin lesions and AKI concurrently and rarely dogs present with AKI prior to the development of skin lesions.

Your veterinary surgeon may decide to take blood and urine to test and monitor for the development of this disease. Blood results will reveal azotaemia and possibly thrombocytopaenia, mild anaemia and hyperbilirubinaemia. Urinalysis will reveal dilute urine and possibly glucosuria and casts.

If you are a dog owner and are concerned about your pet, please speak to your local vet in the first instance who would be welcome to contact us. We are collating national data on all possible cases and continue to work with National Authorities. We can provide histopathology free of charge on suspected cases.

If you are a Veterinary surgeon and are concerned that a case you have been presented with may be suffering from CRGV then please feel free to contact us for further advice." End quote

Contact details: Telephone: 01962 767920

Emergency: In the event of an emergency, veterinary surgeons only may call 01962 767920 out of hours, for advice or to arrange a referral.

To follow all developments since the discovery of this dog illness please read this info from Anderson Moores.

Latest update from the Forestry Commission

21 July 2014

No new cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) have been identified since early June 2014. Pathology results from two cases (Hampshire and Somerset) have now been confirmed to have been affected by CRGV.

With the recognition of one historical case this brings the total number of confirmed cases nationwide to 44 since November 2012. Any further major developments over the next few months will be posted on the veterinary website. Otherwise updates will be posted on their Facebook page:

Of the confirmed cases, 15 cases have been confirmed in the New Forest and 29 elsewhere.

Since December 2012, there have been 17 'unconfirmed' cases of Alabama Rot throughout the UK. 11 out of these 17 cases were in the New Forest with five being 'unconfirmed' survivors.

  • 31 March I've checked out New Forest District Council, Forestry Commission and National Parks Authority websites for updates and can find nothing new to report. Please read the info listed below. There's lots to reassure you and help you with, I hope, and as more info comes in I'll update.
  • 18 March update fromNew Forest District Council I think you'll find this helpful to put these horrendous dog deaths both on the New Forest and in many other areas of the UK into perspective. Apart from a very handy graph of actual cases etc there is a link to a questionnaire you may find worth trying out. 
  • 28 Feb update. I've received an as yet unconfirmed, dog death from possible Alabama Rot notification. The latest tragic dog death occurred from a dog walked in the Deerleap Ashurst area of the New Forest
  • I've just been sent this photo update of possible Alabama Rot
  • 2 dogs have died this month having been walked in the Tiptoe and Wilverley areas of the New Forest.
  • Dogs who've died or suffered renal failure and survived have been extensively tested; for bacteria (e coli), heavy metal testing, water testing, and hazardous chemical testing which has included fungi testing.

What should you do? What to look out for?

  • Initially all dogs who became ill had walked around a certain area of the New Forest where a stream ran through. This area was Ogdens near Fordingbridge
  • Dog owners were advised to avoid this area.
  • However, the New Forest dog death outbreak is not restricted to the New Forest so please be careful wherever you walk your dog. Worcestershire, Cornwall, Co Durham and Surrey have also suffered these dog deaths.
  • If your dog develops sores, blisters or lesions following a walk please act immediately (better safe than sorry?)
  • These sores usually develop on the feet, legs and face.
  • Go to your Vet and ask for all the necessary tests to be made immediately e.g. kidney function, bacteria infection (e coli in particular). Say you are worried that your dog may have contracted this illness.
  • Your dog may also be off its food, vomiting, lethargic or may be licking itself a lot.
  • Testing is ongoing so I'll try to update you as I find out more.

Why Alabama Rot?

  • David Walker from Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists is currently producing a scientific paper on the New Forest dog death illness and can explain why he has related it to Alabama Rot. he can be contacted on
  • 01962 767920 or email
  • Here is the latest news release on Alabama Rot from Anderson Moores. 

How worried should I be? I walk my dog in the New Forest should I continue?

  • The New Forest dog death illness/scare whether Alabama Rot or not is scary for any dog owner, anywhere in the country
  • We love our dogs and always want the best for their return of unconditional love
  • Dogs are walked in their hundreds every single day, all over the New Forest. Although tragic, of this number of dogs walked, very few have (luckily) suffered from this dog illness
  • If you chose to continue walking your dog then look out for the warning signs and take immediate action via your vet if you are concerned in any way.
  • The choice is yours and as a dog lover and owner myself I hope the New Forest dog deaths cease and a reason is found, whether Alabama Rot ( ecoli based) or other causes so that all dogs all over the UK can be safely walked

The outbreak of these New Forest dog deaths over the last couple of years has been terrifying to all dog owners who walk in the forest with their dogs. Sadly, it seems to not just be restricted to our area but has occured in other areas of the UK.

It is an ongoing situation and I just hope the info I've given you has helped and can also reassure you about walking your dog here and the liklihood of more New Forest dog deaths happening here in the future.

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