Seattle Aquarium trains otter to use inhaler for asthma

Seattle Aquarium trains otter to use inhaler for asthma

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Aquarium has diagnosed a sea otter with asthma & is training the animal to use an inhaler.

KING-TV reports (http://kng5.tv/1iiQLrX ) Dr. Lesanna Lahner diagnosed the otter, named Mishka, after she was having trouble breathing when smoke from wildfires was in the Seattle area.

Mishka's trainer uses food to teach the 1-year-old to push her nose on the inhaler & take a deep breath. The medication in the otter's inhaler is exactly the same as what humans use.

p>Lahner says reduced genetic diversity could have contributed to Mishka's diagnosis. Sea otters went extinct in Washington & 40 years ago, Alaskan sea otters were brought south & reintroduced to the coast.

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Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/

Source: “Associated Press”