Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mishka, 1st Sea Otter with Asthma, Learns to Use an Inhaler

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | September 24, 2015 09:47am ET

The air was hazy from forest fires, and Mishka, a 1-year-old sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium, could barely breathe.

Aquarium staff jumped into action, putting an oxygen mask on the 45-lb. (20 kilograms) sea otter and administering anti-inflammatory medication to help her breathe. After several medical tests, Mishka became the first-known sea otter (Enhydra lutris) to be diagnosed with asthma.

Now, trainers are teaching Mishka how to use an inhaler — one that's not designed for sea otters (after all, Mishka is the first one) but for cats, said Seattle Aquarium staff veterinarian Dr. Lesanna Lahner.

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