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Smoke Still in the Air

West Coast Still Has Smoke from Wildfires in the Air

Yes, there are still smoke and irritants hovering over the West Coast in Washington, Oregon, and California. The air quality has still been from very unhealthy to hazardous. When air quality reaches 151-200, it is considered unhealthy (for both humans and pets). This is when you start to experience problems. When the air quality exceeds 300, it is hazardous and may prompt emergency conditions.

Wildfire Smoke and Your Patients' Health: The Air Quality Index | Wildfire  Smoke and Your Patients' Health | US EPA
Be sure to check daily in your area

As irritating as smoke can be to people, it can cause health problems for animals as well. Smoke from wildfires and other large blazes affects pets. If you can see or feel the effects of smoke yourself, you also should take precautions to keep your pets safe.

Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disease are especially at risk from smoke and should be closely watched during all periods of poor air quality.  Look for the following signs of possible smoke or dust irritation in pets. If any of your pets are experiencing any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian.

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
  • Eye irritation and excessive watering
  • Inflammation of throat or mouth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Disorientation or stumbling
  • Reduced appetite and/or thirst

Keep your pets safe

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, and keep your windows shut.
  • Let dogs and cats outside only for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.
  • Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Exercise pets when dust and smoke has settled.

I just wanted to reiterate how serious smoke inhalation is. Your dog cannot tell you that it’s hard for them to breathe. With smooshed faced dogs (brachycephalic), it is even harder for them to breathe.

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