Seattle aquarium trains otter to use inhaler for asthma

In this undated frame from video provided by KING-TV, trainer, Sara Perry, uses food to teach the otter named Mishka to push her nose on an inhaler and take a deep breath at the Seattle Aquarium in Seattle. KING-TV reports Dr. Lesanna Lahner diagnosed the otter with asthma after she was having trouble breathing when smoke from wildfires was in the Seattle area. (KING-TV via AP)
In this undated frame from video provided by KING-TV, trainer, Sara Perry, uses food to teach the otter named Mishka to push her nose on an inhaler and take a deep breath at the Seattle Aquarium in Seattle. KING-TV reports Dr. Lesanna Lahner diagnosed the otter with asthma after she was having trouble breathing when smoke from wildfires was in the Seattle area. (KING-TV via AP)

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

KING-TV reports 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 and take a deep breath. The medication in the otter’s inhaler is exactly the same as what humans use.

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

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

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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