Are Cats the ‘Canary in the Coal Mine’ for Wildfire Effects on Human Health?
Scientists Learn From Cats Injured in California Wildfires
Cats who suffered burns and smoke inhalation in recent California wildfires also had a high incidence of heart problems, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The study represents the first published research to come from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on feline victims of California wildfires and was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Researchers studied 51 cats referred for treatment after the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa and the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise. Echocardiograms, or heart ultrasounds, found the cats had significant cardiovascular effects, including a much higher incidence of heart muscle thickening and blood clot formation.