Mishka, a sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium was the first otter to be diagnosed with asthma. Dr. Lesanna Lahner diagnosed the otter after she noticed the otter having trouble breathing due to wildfires in the Seattle area.
Trainers at the Aquarium us food to train Mishka to take a deep breathe out of a special-made inhaler. And it’s adorable.
At first glance this new story seems like a fluff piece. “Awww look at the cute otter using an inhaler” and you would be right. It IS adorable. But when it comes down to it, the otter is truly telling us something about our environment.
The case for asthma in humans has increased 20-25% in some places. The environment is changing, and air pollution is affecting our health.