Over the past two weeks, a total of more than 60 street dogs have died along with more than a dozen pet dogs. It is suspected that they were suffering from viral gastroenteritis, which is caused by canine parvovirus. Reports suggest that the disease is highly transmissible between dogs. It either spreads when dogs come in direct contact with one another and also through indirect contact by feces of the dogs. All the pet owners and animal sympathizers throughout Kolkata are anxious as the veterinarians have blamed the current pandemic for not having vaccinated the dogs on time, due to which the dog virus started spreading.
Sutirtha Basu, a pet owner, said, “My dog was doing just fine till he suddenly fell numb, began vomiting, and contracted severe diarrhea. We immediately contacted our vet and put him on drips but in less than 24 hours, he passed away. It was only after its death that the vet said that he had all the symptoms of parvovirus. I have another dog and now we are keeping him under medication and close watch to ensure he is safe.”
Most of the pet owners have stopped taking their pets on walks for the time being. All the vets in Kolkata have confirmed that their clinics are being flooded by the patients of the dog virus. They also said that they had to appoint a separate person to attend the calls and guide the owners about dealing with the situation properly.
A city vet, Subir Bhattacharya, said, “This disease generally peaks among canines during this time of year. But this year, the numbers are exceptionally high mostly because of a long gap in inoculation of DHLPP vaccines with many pet owners avoiding a visit to the clinic owing to the pandemic last year. We are working overtime to treat the animals, but the situation is really bad, and we are losing many of our patients.”
In the areas where awareness about the dog virus is even less, have registered more deaths. Bishnupur registered 250 cases within 3 days.