Social Media All Fired Up Over Photos Of Blue Dogs—What Could Possibly Have Caused The Coloring?

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Social media was all abuzz over the last week as reports of dogs with blue-colored fur went viral.  The dogs were seen in a city in Russia, 230 miles east of Moscow, and speculation was that their coats that varied in hues of blue were because of the nearby locations of a now-defunct chemical plant.

The pack of dogs was initially sited near a former factory site that went bankrupt in 2015, which manufactured plexiglass and hydrocyanic acid.  Andrey Mislivets, the former bankruptcy manager for the factory, offered an explanation as to what may be the culprit.   He stated that dogs were known to roam the area quite frequently and that they very well have been exposed to the bright blue copper sulfate that had been stored on the factory's previous site.

When photographs of the dogs with blue fur surfaced on social media channels, speculation about whether the photos were real or not soon turned into concern as to the animal's welfare.  After negotiating with Orgsteklo, a petrochemical company, authorities within the city were granted access to the grounds of the factory, where the dogs had been reportedly seen.

After further inspection, seven dogs were captured and taken to the Zoozchita-NN veterinary hospital, located in the nearby town of Nizhny Novgorod, for evaluation, testing, and examination.  After performing tests on the canine, the animal experts offered that the was no discernable reason to jump to the conclusion that the dog’s health is in any manner affected by the blue coloring of their fur.

In a statement issued to the outlet RBC by Vladimir Groisman, director of the veterinarian center where the dogs were examined: “We have already performed initial analysis on the animals.  The general analysis of their blood and feces showed normal levels for all of them, including their biochemistry.”

Groisman surmised that, in an attempt to get in out of the cold, the dog's coats had ended up stained with the residue of the chemicals left by the factory.  He feels that the possibility of the dogs being caught, and painted, as some surmised, was a slim possibility and that the dogs appeared to be well-fed and are alert. 

Groisman added that: "We do not yet know what caused the dying of the dog's fur.  This requires large-scale analysis, which we can not do here.”

Do you think the strange fur coloring is simply exposure to the chemical residue left by the former factory?