In February, pictures of blue-furred dogs went viral on Russian social media. The images were posted on VK, a Facebook-style social media platform popular in Russia. The dogs in question were discovered near an abandoned chemical plant in Dzerzhinsk, located about 230 miles east of the Russian capital Moscow. The blue fur raised concerns among the local people regarding the dogs’ potential exposure to dangerous chemicals.
The factory had been manufacturing acrylic glass and prussic acid. People suspect that the dogs have been rolling around in powdered blue dye present at the plant. Locals brought the dogs to a vet clinic in Nizhny Novgorod on 13 February, where they had their blood, and faecal samples were taken. Vets found traces of Prussian blue dye in their fur.
While the Russian media reports that the dogs appear healthy and well, toxic chemicals such as copper sulphate may be responsible for the colour change.
In an unrelated incident, locals observed several dogs roaming around with bright green fur in Podolsk, an industrial town 23 miles south of Moscow. According to a Moscow regional minister, the dogs were seen near an abandoned warehouse, where there were sacks of green paint. However, some people suspect the Podolsk incident to be a deliberate act, following the blue-furred dogs’ viral story.
Vets have examined the Podolsk dogs as well. The dogs seem to look healthy and well, as in the Dzerzhinsk case. These incidents highlight the chemical pollution problem in Russia, which stands as the legacy of the Soviet communism of the 20th century.
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