I feel like a Doomsday Prepper!
So the officially reported PSI index hovers around 300 and at one point it was 400 today. Hazardous all the way~
Seniors, mums-to-be, children and people with heart or respiratory problems are advised to don the N95 respiratory mask when outside and in general to avoid outdoors. Healthy persons should also be masked if “prolonged and strenuous outdoor activity is unavoidable.”
But what about dogs who need their daily walks? And some dogs are outdoor dogs, what about them?
Keep all pets indoors during the haze and if your rabbits or small pets are kept in balconies, bring them in. They are especially at risk for smoke inhalation due to their small lung capacity. Smoke inhalation can cause chronic pneumonia and can be fatal if the animal is no longer able to compensate. Note any signs of breathing difficulty and bring them to your vet immediately.
And the Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre says:
Animals have an increased sensitivity to foreign particles and constant exposure to polluted air may place them in the position to develop respiratory problems.
Pets that are in greater danger include:
- pets with heart/lung disease
- young pets less than 1 year old
- geriatric pets above 6-7 years old
- pets with debilitating conditions, e.g. kidney, liver problems
- pets with eye conditions
However, the advice they posted on their Facebook pages should probably apply to all pets:
- Keep pets indoors where possible
- Do short but more frequent toilet breaks instead of long walks
- Wipe down face, body and paws thoroughly with damp cloth after walks
- Use artificial tears 2-3x daily to flush away possible eye irritants
- Turn on air conditioner/fan where possible
- Change water bowls often
- Monitor for redness in eye, abnormal eye discharge, excessive sneezing or coughing. If observed, seek medical attention
- Monitor PSI and PM2.5 levels via the NEA website at http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/
- PM2.5 (PM2.5 concentrations measure smaller particles that can settle in the lungs.)
- less than 40 = safe (– Donna and I go out for short walks due haze period)
- more than 40= unsafe – Donna and I go out for loo breaks
In terms of the possible effects of smoke haze on pets:
- Irritation of the nose and throat
- Increased mucous production
- Tendency to cough
- Eye irritation, redness and discharge
- Lung problems if severe; bronchitis, asthma
- Skin irritation; rashes
In general, its good to have your regular vet clinic’s contact number as well as the nearest emergency after-hours vet contact. So if the above effects manifest themselves excessively or your pet is finding it hard to breathe, you’d be able to reach medical attention quickly.
And why do I feel like a Doomsday Prepper? I spent a good part of the morning calling and hunting for N95 masks to no avail. They are just not in stock and if they are, there are long queues or sold out the next second. We are not too concerned for ourselves since we are healthy adults but it would be nice to get some for our older parents and grandparents. Of course, getting stubborn parents/grandparents to wear them is another matter!! :P
The fat dog is too chill to be a doomsday prepper! :P