The air in the Treasure Valley has been nasty the past couple weeks, largely due to smoke from wildfires in the region.
It was only after I wrote about an influx of patients visiting local ERs and asthma clinics that I heard that local pets had also been experiencing symptoms. So I checked in with Dr. Michael Koob, chief veterinarian at the Idaho Humane Society's hospital. Here's what he said:
"Yes, we seem to be seeing more animals with respiratory and eye issues. Mostly dogs with runny eyes - I suspect is due to all the smoke in the air, but possibly just from our extremely dry/hot summer."
If a pet is really rubbing at his or her eyes, Koob is sending them home with basic eye lubricating ointment, or an ointment with some antibiotic in it (if an infection is starting).