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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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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”