UC Davis studying cats to assist learn more about wildfire smoke health risks

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The immediate short-term health risks of wildfire smoke are well-understood by medical examiners.At the identical time, there continues to be quite a bit that should be studied concerning potential long-term health issues resulting from repeated smoke exposure. Researchers on the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine can have found one method to gain some insight, by taking a look at how wildfires affect the health of cats. Dr. Ronald Li is an associate professor of small animal emergency and urgent care at UC Davis. He and his team began studying cats with wildfire injuries in 2017.“Back in 2017, our faculty began seeing plenty of cats rescued from the 2017 Tubbs Fire and on the time, we were collaborating with our cardiology team and we began noticing a portion of those cats experiencing congestive heart failure,” Li said.Those common symptoms led the UC Davis team to search for a possible cause. They found that many cats showed signs of swelling in the center known medically as cardiomyopathy. “But in addition what’s surprising is we found plenty of blood clots,” Li said.Li said those blood clots that developed within the cats’ hearts are the results of overactive platelets, cells that produce clotting in damaged blood vessels. They confirmed those findings with more injured cats that got here in following the 2018 Camp Fire. But there’s excellent news for those cats, Li said. Their heart conditions might be treated, even reversed using a straightforward Aspirin regimen. But when left untreated, this smoke-induced clotting can change into deadly quickly. Li said this must be a reminder to cat owners to have their animals evaluated by a vet in the event that they have been exposed to intense smoke. Because cats are sometimes close companions for people, observing their post-wildfire illnesses may help provide some insights into potential human risks.“Animals and humans are exposed to the identical environment,” Li said. “I feel it raises an alarm of cardiovascular emergencies being increased dramatically, respiratory diseases being increased dramatically during wildfire seasons.”

The immediate short-term health risks of wildfire smoke are well-understood by medical examiners.

At the identical time, there continues to be quite a bit that should be studied concerning potential long-term health issues resulting from repeated smoke exposure. Researchers on the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine can have found one method to gain some insight, by taking a look at how wildfires affect the health of cats.

Dr. Ronald Li is an associate professor of small animal emergency and urgent care at UC Davis. He and his team began studying cats with wildfire injuries in 2017.

“Back in 2017, our faculty began seeing plenty of cats rescued from the 2017 Tubbs Fire and on the time, we were collaborating with our cardiology team and we began noticing a portion of those cats experiencing congestive heart failure,” Li said.

Those common symptoms led the UC Davis team to search for a possible cause. They found that many cats showed signs of swelling in the center known medically as cardiomyopathy.

“But in addition what’s surprising is we found plenty of blood clots,” Li said.

Li said those blood clots that developed within the cats’ hearts are the results of overactive platelets, cells that produce clotting in damaged blood vessels. They confirmed those findings with more injured cats that got here in following the 2018 Camp Fire.

But there’s excellent news for those cats, Li said. Their heart conditions might be treated, even reversed using a straightforward Aspirin regimen.

But when left untreated, this smoke-induced clotting can change into deadly quickly. Li said this must be a reminder to cat owners to have their animals evaluated by a vet in the event that they have been exposed to intense smoke. Because cats are sometimes close companions for people, observing their post-wildfire illnesses may help provide some insights into potential human risks.

“Animals and humans are exposed to the identical environment,” Li said. “I feel it raises an alarm of cardiovascular emergencies being increased dramatically, respiratory diseases being increased dramatically during wildfire seasons.”