HYDERABAD: This summer, besides the soaring temperatures, there’s another reason for citizens to sweat. The ubiquitous stray dogs in the twin cities seem to be going wild as the mercury keeps rising.
A visit to the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) at Narayanguda will make even the most lethargic of officials to sit up and take notice. A number of people, all victims of dog bites, are these days queuing up at IPM to get a dose of TT vaccine.
Usually, about 100-120 people visit IPM every day to get treated for dog bites. And, about 250-300 more pay a second visit for the same reason. In the last few days, however, the numbers have jumped dramatically. “At least 150 people are coming now. And about 500 are visiting for renewed treatment,” IPM officials confirmed adding that these numbers are likely to increase by 40 per cent as the summer reaches its peak in April and May.
During 2010-11, about 50,184 cases of dog bites were registered with the IPM. Another 30 per cent cases were recorded at private clinics, nursing homes and private hospitals.
From April, 2011 to February, 2012, 47,858 cases were registered. The monthly statistics are literally staggering. In January this year, 4,094 cases were recorded while in February, the figure came down marginally to 4,004. As the summer progresses, the numbers may rise to 5,000 per month. Though GHMC authorities are well aware of the fact that summer is a critical time for their veterinary section, no additional measures have been taken to check the problem.
The stray dogs go wild in summer due to dehydration. Veterinary doctors attribute the change in their behaviour to shortage of water and food and incidence of skin diseases. It is estimated that there are over 1.50 lakh stray dogs in the city that have not been administered the anti-rabies vaccine and are therefore a threat to citizens.