Canine distemper virus claims lives of stray dogs, but BBMP unmoved

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Pet animal lovers and some social activists were staged protest in order to save stray dogs from infectious disease by holding posters.

BENGALURU: Communicable and infectious diseases are increasing in stray dogs, and several of them are dying every day from distemper virus infection. A large number of dogs have been suffering from multiple viral diseases and animal rights activists complain that there is no proper care given to strays post sterlisation at ABC centers.

The major symptoms of distemper virus are increase in nasal discharge and change in eye colour. Dogs will face respiratory difficulties, vision problems and signs of epilepsy. Droplets from infected dogs carry the disease to other dogs.  However, the virus is not transmitted to humans, but only to similar species.

Dr Mohan Kumar, a veterinarian, says, the 9-in-1 vaccination the only solution to prevent dogs from virus attacks.

“Many street dogs died due to negligence post sterilisation surgery,” says Dr Mohan Kumar, a veterinarian. Infection can be prevented through antibiotics. The BBMP veterinary unit conducts surgery without giving Canine Core or 9-in-1 vaccine prior to the operation. As result of this, immunity in the dogs is reduced. Hence, 9-in-1 vaccination is the only solution to prevent dogs from virus attacks, he added

Some animal activists are urging the BBMP to increase the distemper vaccines (9-in-1) as well as anti-rabies vaccine coverage for stray dogs.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said they will make efforts to include stray dog vaccination in the budget.

To a question on starting distemper vaccination (9-in-1) under the Palike limits, BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said, “We are giving rabies shots, and initiating the distemper vaccine is quite a good idea. But there is shortfall of finances in the budget. We provide Rs 90 for administering rabies vaccines, including labour charges, whereas distemper vaccination costs Rs 300 per dose plus Rs 210 for administration. The BBMP budget is not yet prepared and we will try to include this proposal”.

Social and environment activist Arun suggested that unspent funds can be used to vaccinate stray dogs.

Arun, a social and environment activist, claims there has been no count of stray dogs dying post surgery. “Vaccines must be given before surgery to enhance its immunity. Vaccination is the only solution to reduce mortality. There is excess funds available from last year’s budget. The BBMP could use it for a better purpose”, he pointed out.

Sujatha Prasanna complains there is no safety and care will be given to post surgery dogs at ABC centres.

Sujatha Prasanna, a pet lover, said that if canines gets infected by distemper virus, 70 per cent to 80 per cent of them will die. “The other healthy stray dogs are also getting infected at ABC centres. If a dog infected with the distemper virus survives by chance, it will suffer throughout its life and will lose the immunity to fight against other diseases”, she noted.

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