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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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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.