Heavy rain in the State in the last 10 days has not only affected human life, but also has hit animal health, veterinarians say.
The State government’s emergency veterinary service, dubbed ‘1962’ after its telephone number, has been receiving an increasing number of calls with complaints of foot rot and viral disease among cattle, sheep and goat.
Veterinarians blame damp weather, and say efforts are on to educate animal owners, mainly farmers, about preventive measures as well as home remedies to minimise the loss of animal life.
According to the database of calls compiled at the EMRI call-centre, the emergency service personnel have attended to 543 cases of foot rot across Telangana in the last 10 days. A bacterial infection, foot rot is said to be painful and contagious warranting immediate treatment. If left untreated, it can result in sepsis.
“Often, animals tend to stand in wet and damp conditions during rain, resulting in rotten hooves. Besides treating animals, we are also handing out brochures describing care and management of animals during rain,” said veterinarian C. Rohit Kumar, who heads the 1962 project.
Other conditions that vets of the emergency service have attended include diarrhoea and anorexia due to inexplicable causes.
Over 1,900 anorexic animals were administered medicine by EMRI teams, while 219 cases of diarrhoea were treated.
“We have found that animals stop eating after ingesting weed or a contaminant. Lantana, a common weed found in Telangana, is one of the common culprits,” Dr. Rohit added. The weed apart, binging on grass, which grows in plenty post the rains, also causes animals to lose appetite and turn anorexic, he said.
The 1962 EMRI services took off last month. The call centre now receives about 15,000 calls a day, much higher than the original estimation of 1,000 per day.
D. Venkateshwarlu, Director of Animal Husbandry, did not describe the animal health situation in the State, in the wake of rain, as alarming. He said only sporadic instances of diseases were being reported.
“Before the onset of monsoon, vaccination against certain diseases commonly affecting animals in Telangana was taken up every year. This helps prevent loss of animal life in a big way,” the Director explained.