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West Kelowna veterinarian cautions pet owners amid smoky skies

Click to play video: 'Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies' Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies
Humans and nature aren't the only things affected by the smoky skies, it can hurt your pets too. Sydney Morton spoke with West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Oz to find out how to keep your pets safe in poor air quality – Aug 1, 2021

That smoke that is making your eyes water, your throat hurt and is giving you headaches isn’t just bad for you, it’s just as bad for your pets.

“Be careful, make sure, because it’s very hot for us and we are not going to run the marathon or do [any] heavy training, it’s the same thing with dogs,” said Dr. Moshe Oz of Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Oz has seen dozens of pets having respiratory troubles come through his doors just this week as smoke continues to coat much of the Okanagan.

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“Even today, I just got a call from two people, their dogs can’t stop coughing,” said Dr. Oz.

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“Try to take care of it, if there are some signs [of respiratory issues], call the vet. We need to get some kind of medication and to assess.”

Pets can show a variety of symptoms — they could have coughing fits, be coughing up phlegm, and even develop redness and swelling around their eyes.

Dr. Oz says there are a few things that pet owners can do to prevent this from happening.

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“What I advise to our clients, it’s just to stay home as much as possible. Make sure that they have a humidifier, make sure that they have ventilation so we can have some kind of airflow,” said Dr. Oz.

He also says to limit pets’ time outside.

“If those signs of respiratory distress, coughing phlegm, just bring them home immediately, and if it has escalated and becomes more of a problem, make a call to the vet.”

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So while the skies remain smoky, Dr. Oz recommends keeping an eye on how your pets are doing, especially if they have any pre-existing conditions, are elderly or still growing.

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