CRGV is an uncommon disease of unknown cause and is also referred to as Alabama rot in reference to a North American disease of unknown origin that is characterized by similar histopathologic lesions.5 CRGV has been reported in greyhounds in North America5 and a Great Dane in Germany.6
Until 2012, few (<5) cases had been reported in Europe. Since then, more than 150 cases in the United Kingdom, including one in Northern Ireland, have been confirmed by postmortem examination in nongreyhound breeds; 30 of these cases were reported in 2018, making CRGV a rare condition. Although a definitive cause has not yet been identified, research investigating environmental and genetic causes (mainly complement system dysfunction) is ongoing.
Ulcerated, vasculitis-like skin lesions of the extremities, ventrum, face, and tongue are typically reported first.4 Some dogs develop skin lesions and azotemia; others develop skin lesions only and do not become azotemic, although the percentage of dogs that develop skin lesions only is unknown due to the lack of gold standard testing antemortem and the lack of specificity of the skin lesions. The average time from onset of skin lesions to development of azotemia is 3 days (range, 1-10 days).4 Once AKI is present, prognosis is poor, with a mortality rate of 85%.5 Dogs that do not develop azotemia have an excellent prognosis, provided that wounds are adequately managed with standard local care and systemic antibiotic therapy. Thus far, there have been no reports of CRGV recurrence in a dog that survived the disease or of CRGV transmission between dogs. CRGV does not appear to be zoonotic, although standard precautions should be followed (eg, wearing gloves and a protective apron) until more is known about the disease etiology.