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Scientists discover potential treatment for Alabama rot
CRVG first emerged in the UK in 2012.
Study reports success of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange 

Dogs affected by cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRVG) - or Alabama rot - could soon be offered a new treatment thanks to a discovery by researchers at the RVC’s Queen Mother Hospital for Animals.

A study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science reports that two out of six dogs suffering from the disease were cured by a treatment known as Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) or ‘Plasmapheresis’.

The technique involves filtering the patient’s blood so that toxic substances - including those that cause CRVG - are removed. The blood is then returned to the patient after it has been altered.

Researchers say they developed the treatment after a discovery of similarities between CRVG and thrombotic microangiopathy in humans, which is also treated with plasma exchange.

Study author Dr Stefano Cortellini said: “Despite the fact that only a third of dogs treated with TPE recovered from their disease, this is the first time that dogs so severely affected by CRGV have been reported to survive and so we remain optimistic that TPE may play an important role in the treatment of this deadly disease.”

First identified in Alabama in the 1980s, CRVG causes small clots in blood vessels, which lead to skin ulcers, tissue damage and, in many cases, kidney failure. A lack of understanding about how the disease spreads has led to high death rates in dogs that develop it.

CRVG first emerged in the UK in 2012 and has since affected more than 150 dogs from 37 counties. Theories about the cause of the disease have ranged from E.coli-produced toxins to bacteria and parasites.

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.