A 10-year-old boy from a city in the Indian state of Jharkhand was recently bitten by a dog and is now taking anti-rabies injections. Mohit Kumar was neither playing with the canine as many children in India do, nor did he accidentally anger the dog; rather he was bitten because he was trying to feed on the milk of a stray female dog in a nearby locality.
Having been drinking dog milk from the age of four, he appears to have become addicted to it and his parents are struggling to wean him off the habit. They have even avoided sending him to school fearing his strange habit could go unchecked and worsen while he is unsupervised.
Mohit, who is a child without speech, belongs to a poor family from Dhanbad. His father Subedar Singh sells fruit juices at a roadside kiosk, while his mother Pinky Kumari works as a domestic help. Both the parents have been trying to wean him off since the time they discovered their son's strange habit, but have failed. Besides, they have not been able to consult a doctor about their son's odd propensity for dog milk owing to financial constraints.
Most of the stray female dogs in their locality have become familiar with Mohit's habit and do not react violently when he approaches them. However, recently when the child approached a stray dog in another locality, the dog bit him. His parents then took him to a doctor and he is now under medication against rabies. He has not been prescribed any medicines to put him off his strange addiction.
A senior doctor of the city's Central Hospital, Dr DK Singh told The Times of India that although a female dog's milk is not hazardous to humans, consuming it poses the threat of rabies infection.
The mother was quoted by local media as saying that Mohit acquired the habit about two years after he was weaned off breast milk. She said once he happened to suck on the teats of a female dog while playing with a bunch of them outside their house. "Since then he does the same whenever he gets a chance to do so. Bitches of the area have also taken a liking to him and feed him whenever Mohit wants them to," the mother said.