Animal bite cases record a spurt in Lucknow

 Lucknow, July 3: An increasing dog population, resource scarcity, and extreme heat conditions have led to a spurt in cases of animal bites in Lucknow, veterinary doctors said.

The state capital has recorded a 50 per cent rise in animal bite cases in the last two months, with dog attacks accounting for 90 per cent of the cases. Other cases are of cat and monkey bites. Data from three major government hospitals shows that 120 bite cases are being reported daily. If follow-up patients receiving anti-rabies vaccines are included, then the number comes to around 350 daily.

Most of the cases are from densely populated areas like Chowk, Maulviganj, Wazirganj, Rakabganj and Saadatganj. N.B. Singh from Balrampur Hospital noted a rise in vaccinations from 80-90 to 150. Lokbandhu and SPM Civil hospitals report similar trends with more than 130 patients getting inoculated. Earlier, it was around 80 daily. Former Director, the Animal Husbandry department, S.K. Malik, links the rise in such cases to an increasing canine population and scarcity of resources, resulting in aggressive behaviour. “Conduct regular surveys to monitor dog population and adjust the control programmes accordingly,” he suggested. High temperatures and UV exposure may also be contributing to this trend, affecting dogs’ dopamine levels and increasing aggression, he said.

Pramod Kumar Tripathi, a private veterinarian, pointed to the May-June breeding season, where higher cortisol levels and the absence of sweat glands lead to irritability among dogs. Lucknow Municipal Corporation Animal Welfare Officer, Abhinav Verma, said that the increase in bite cases is due to population growth, adding: “About 75 per cent of the estimated 105,000 dogs in Lucknow have been sterilised.”