Mudumalai Tiger Reserve wild dogs affected with skin infection

Sources said a few emaciated dholes with no hair in the posterior part of their body, including tail, were spotted near Masinagudi checkpost.
D Venkatesh, field Director of MTR told TNIE that they believe that the infection will cure on its own.
D Venkatesh, field Director of MTR told TNIE that they believe that the infection will cure on its own. Photo | Express

COIMBATORE: A pack of wild dogs,or Dholes, in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) have suffered severe exfoliating mixed skin infection. This is an alarming fungal and bacterial infection and could spread to other species including tigers and leopards. Also, there is a possibility of infection spreading to humans, sources said.

Sources said a few emaciated dholes with no hair in the posterior part of their body, including tail, were spotted near Masinagudi checkpost. Eight more affected dogs were spotted in the hydroelectricity tunnel on Singara road.

“The movement of these animals were disoriented and slow. The infection has gone up to the neck and ears and it is severe towards the hind legs. All hair at the tail has fallen, and there is bleeding and scratches. The possibility of distemper cannot be ruled out as they are manifesting several neurological symptoms. This is a very serious issue and dholes seem to be in highly painful condition, rubbing against each other,” said Masinagudi based Nawab Shafath Ali Khan who is the secretary of Wild Life Tranqui Force.

“I discussed this with veterinarians and they opined that this is a fast spreading mixed skin infection of (fungal bacterial and infestation of Sarcoptic mange and mites). The infection can spread to carnivores and herbivores as this disease is zoonotic in nature. I suspect that stray dogs around Bokkapuram, Singara Masinagudi, Mavanallah and Sirur that penetrate the deep forest, chasing spotted deer and killing their fawns, have spread this disease to deer and from them it passed on to dholes. It may even spread to humans,” said Nawab Shafath Ali Khan who sent a petition to the Chief wildlife Warden Srinivas R Reddy seeking his immediate intervention.

D Venkatesh, field Director of MTR told TNIE that they have been monitoring the dholes over the last two days and that they believe that the infection will cure on its own. 

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