Wildfires Effect on Pets

Forest Fire

Dry weather, lightening strikes, tossing a lit cigarette accidentally and more can trigger wildfires. They have tragic consequences for both humans and animals.

Changes in air quality for areas near the wildfires affect the health of humans and animals alike. Burning chemicals from natural and man-made materials can be toxic and cause irritation and worse to eyes, respiratory systems and more. Depending on the amount of exposure to these elements, reactions can be mild to severe.

Your pet can have eye problems such as squinting, bloodshot appearing eyes, discharge, eyelid inflammation, scratching or rubbing the eyes to relieve irritation. Respiratory signs can include wet or dry cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing.

If your pet is exposed to heat and/or smoke, there can be skin and coat burns as well as eyes, mouth and nose. The respiratory tract can be deprived of oxygen causing weakness and fainting. If not treated quickly, death can result.

You can reduce exposure to your pet by remaining indoors until it’s deemed safe to go out. Keep windows closed and use air-conditioning. Check online or on TV news to learn about the air quality in your area. For further safety guidelines, check with the CDC and wildfire prevention sites online.

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