Cute otters may be affected by asthma, too.
Internet users have gone into a frenzy ever since they saw a video showing how an asthmatic otter at Seattle Aquarium uses inhaler on her own. Large loads of food treats were used to get the cute otter to befriend the otherwise scarring apparatus.
Caretakers at the Seattle Aquarium in Washington State have been worried sick for their small female otter, who could not breathe properly. They subjected her to various medical checkups to find out whether the female otter suffered from a disease or not.
Investigations have revealed that the otter, who is known as Mishka within the Aquarium community, has asthma. Her condition was determined through blood analyses and radiographs, which revealed abnormal white spots on the surface of her lungs.
After a medicinal treatment, caretakers have reached the conclusion that the only way to prevent the otter’s disease from worsening is to get her to use an inhaler. Veterinarians spent the past months learning Mishka how to use the inhaler on her own.
As the video reveals, the otter was given many food treats because the treatment had to be perceived as a game. For every treat that she received, Mishka had to place her nose under the inhaler and take deep breaths as the caretakers sprayed the medicine.
In the future, organizers at the Seattle Aquarium plan to make the process a lot easier. They intend to devise a system that allows Mishka to get the medicine she needs on her own. For the moment, the caretakers are happy the otter is no longer afraid of the inhaler.
More researches will be conducted to determine the factors that might have caused the otter to develop asthma. Much like in the case of humans, otters can become asthmatic due to genetic heredity, allergies or noxious factors, but there may be other causes, as well, according to veterinarians.
They have reasons to believe that Mishka’s asthma developed as a result of her exposure to wild fire smoke that affected the Eastern regions of Washington. Mishka’s condition is, once again, proving that certain manmade activities may be noxious not just for animals, but also for humans.
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