Blue Dogs Suddenly Appear in a Russian City

The mysterious case of blue dogs in Russia may be a hoax or a truly alarming situation.
Blue Dogs Suddenly Appear in a Russian City
Ana Díaz Maqueda

Written and verified by the biologist Ana Díaz Maqueda.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

There were some disturbing images coming from Russia about some stray dogs who seemed to be dyed blue. In these pictures, the bright color of these animals stands out against the white snow in the frozen landscape. Where did these animals come from? Could it be some kind of mutation? Perhaps it’s a local prank?

The images of the animals have gone viral ever since a group of residents of the Russian city of Dzerzhinsk uploaded them on the Internet. Such has been the impact that the Russian government has had no choice but to take action and investigate the strange find.

Where do the blue dogs come from?

The pack of stray blue dogs that showed up near the city of Dzerzhinsk is still a mystery. Still, the images going viral left no one indifferent and Interfax, a well-known Russian news agency, started an investigation.

The images of the dogs are real, according to them, although it remains to be seen if the blue dye is the work of some prankster. Nevertheless, according to the press service of the Dzerzhinsk administration, the dogs are on the territory of the private company Dzerzhinskoye Plexiglas.

This company no longer exists, its premises closed and there’s no permitted access due to the chemical residues left in the area. On October 30, 2015, the Arbitration Court of the Nizhny Novgorod Region declared Dzerzhinskoe Plexiglas JSC bankrupt.

By 2017, the lenders put an end to the company’s economic activities and it fell into oblivion.

A street in Russia.

Now, after the appearance of the blue dogs, someone decided to contact the former manager to try to clarify what happened. According to him, the images are false and it was all a joke. However, this same person states that the stray dogs could have been rubbed by copper sulfate. This is one of the residues left behind at the old factory.

Furthermore, someone also sent photographs of the dogs to an animal hospital. Specialists there stated that the animals seem to be fine despite their possible contamination with this substance. They also state that someone should try to capture the animals in order to be able to examine them properly.

As far as we know, there’s still an intention to catch the animals, it’s only that the owner of the land doesn’t allow people in. It may be because the waste shouldn’t be there. As you can see, obtaining samples from the dogs could result in high financial penalties for anyone responsible.

The toxicity of copper sulfate

Press reports indicate that copper sulfate can irritate the skin and lead to inflammation. However, the toxicity of this chemical compound is much higher than some like to think. Anyone exposed to this substance wouldn’t feel well and wouldn’t even be able to walk.

The time it takes for clinical signs of copper sulfate exposure to appear may vary slightly between individuals. However, it usually starts within three hours after exposure.

Further, the inhaled dust causes acute respiratory failure, which progresses rapidly. Then there’s hemoptysis, coughing up blood, and normochromic anemia — iron deficiency due to acute hemorrhage. Both signs lead to severe pulmonary hemorrhage and it progresses to pneumonia.

A dog could be cured in a matter of days – if no further complications arise, and there should be no sequelae with proper treatment. However, they’ll die without proper medical attention.

There’s very little scientific information on copper poisoning in pets – and even in humans – but empirical evidence reveals it can be fatal. It’s for this reason that there’s little chance of blue dogs having been contaminated with this compound.

Are blue dogs contaminated?

There’s still much to investigate about the blue dogs in Russia. There’s always a possibility that it’s all a cruel joke as the animals seem fine.

Likewise, let’s not rule out that these canines may have been rolling around in some waste left inside the factory and it’s just not toxic enough to kill them quickly.

Close up of a blue dog.

Be that as it may, investigations about the old factory have begun thanks to these dogs. The animals are now safe and, hopefully, there’ll be a plan to remove all chemical waste from this old factory.

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