Chennai: Several worried pet owners took their dogs to the vet on Thursday, with worries of a canine strain of cholera making the rounds. A day after Express carried a report on dogs suffering from diarrhoea due to various reasons, some sections of the media incorrectly reported that this was due to cholera, similar to what has been affecting people in the city for the past few days.
Following reports that dogs too were contracting the bacterial disease, some owners rushed their animals to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) outpatient treatment centre and to other vet clinics. Bemused vets had to explain that cholera was a wholly human disease and could not affect dogs, and that there was no need for worry or panic.
Dr Prathapan, Director of Clinics, TANUVAS, reiterated that diarrhoea in dogs is caused by various reasons like worms, eating something that disagrees with them or viral infections. The most common cause of dogs having upset stomachs is a parvo infection, which is a virus. The cholera bacteria does not affect them nor can they suffer from the disease, he said.
Adding that misinformation in the media about the disease had caused undue scares, he said that he had spoken to quite a few pet owners. They just needed reassuring that their canine friends were fine. Once I explained to them how to identify when pets are really ill, they went away satisfied, he said.