Smoky air can harm dogs and cats, too, says vets and pollution experts

“I think wood smoke can be a big issue for pets, much like secondhand smoke.”

The Contra Costa Times reports:

Spare the air. Spare the human health. Now, spare the pets.

You’ve heard of the no-wood-burning alerts on bad air days this winter to protect people in the Bay Area, but there are others to guard from the smoke as well — cats, dogs and horses.

Fido and Fluffy can have lung and bronchial ailments aggravated by wood smoke on Spare the Air days, veterinarians and air pollution officials say.

“I think wood smoke can be a big issue for pets, much like secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Suzanne Lee, a veterinarian at the Alamo Animal Hospital. “You’ve got to assume that smoke affects them, but pets don’t complain as much as people do.”

She estimated that as much as 10 percent of her cat patients have asthma — a condition aggravated by allergens, dust and smoke.

She cautions anyone with asthmatic cats to keep their pets indoors on Spare the Air days, when smoke and other fine particles in the air are predicted to exceed the federal health standard for humans. Spare the Air alerts have been issued on 15 days so far this season in the Bay Area…

Roselius had thought hairballs were causing her cat’s wheezing spells. A veterinarian determined otherwise during an emergency hospital treatment for what turned out to be an asthma attack.

Read the entire report.

Read “Air pollution not correlated with asthma hospitalizations, reports new JunkScience.com study.”

3 thoughts on “Smoky air can harm dogs and cats, too, says vets and pollution experts”

  1. “I THINK wood smoke can be a big issue for pets, much like secondhand smoke”?
    “She ESTIMATED that as much as 10 percent of her cat patients have asthma “?
    For a ‘professional’ she seems to be lacking confidence in her own professional observations.

  2. Tom, she probably doesn’t have official tallies, and most likely it would cost extra to do tests. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to use estimates. Don’t dally around in nitpicking while avoiding the big picture.

    Overall, this isn’t too bad. The short version is that if you (or your animal friends) have problems with asthma, don’t go out on bad air days beause it can be irritating. Even it it’s just annoying instead of harmful, it’s worthwhile to avoid it.

  3. Snore… Yeah, just another reason to switch to natural gas or increase electricity demand. Nice one top end energy market misinformation – PR lobbyists. Stop dilly-dallying, offsetting carbon from the domestic market – fix industrial pollution first! …and produce real & relevant toxicology studies to back up your health-scare-mongering. It’s not a rebublican vs democrat argument either. It’s a real science vs media PR junk science argument. Clean, cheap technology for stopping woodsmoke pollution, without the need to connect to the grid – remaining energy self sufficient already exists. Stop hassling the practical minded self sufficient, sustainability aware realists!

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