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Wildfire Smoke Causes Pet Health Concerns

Posted by SusanStokes on June 7, 2023

As wildfire smoke from Canadian wildfires spreads across the northeast United States, VERG Criticalist Jillian DiFazio, DVM DACVECC, speaks out to make pet owners aware of the symptoms of smoke inhalation, as well as other dangers. 

The Veterinary Emergency Referral Group (VERG) is a 24/7 emergency services and specialty medicine center in Brooklyn that is open seven days a week. Dr. DiFazio had this to say in their recent press release:

“The signs of smoke inhalation in pets are coughing, breathing difficulty, shortness of breath and pets can have an audible wheeze if their upper airway gets irritated and inflamed. Another danger to be aware of is carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause neurological symptoms like mental inappropriateness, staggering or difficulty walking.

Difazio said carbon monoxide poisoning is rare, but certainly something to be aware of. She also says that smoke can damage a pet’s eyes.

“The smoke and particles in the air can cause corneal ulceration,” DiFazio said. “The warning signs for this are irritation to the eyes, excessive squinting, discharge from the eyes, and redness in the eyes.”

In order to minimize the risk of these conditions, DiFazio says pet owners should be cautious of how much time their pets are spending outside.

 “Limit outside time just to go to the bathroom, and avoid neck collars and leashes that can put additional pressure on the airways,” she said. “No outside activity otherwise.”

Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group (VERG) was formed in 2005 by Dr. Brett Levitzke to provide emergency services and specialty medicine to the Brooklyn community. VERG’s team of emergency doctors, specialty doctors, technicians and assistants are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care within a nurturing environment. Their services include, cardiology, critical care, dermatology, emergency care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, radiology and more. VERG can be reached at 718.522.9400 and is located at 196 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217.

Stay safe!

Source: VERG Press Release, June 7, 2023