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Our furry friends cough too

Kristian Tangen

Do pets suffer from air pollution? Cats get asthma, dogs get Alzheimer.

While the relationship between poor air quality and respiratory diseases have been extensively studied for pigs and horses, less is known when it comes to cats and dogs.

However, more is known about the link between asthma at cats than at dogs. For example one relatively recent study from Taiwan showed significant association between indoor air pollution and lung diseases at cats, but that for dogs the relationship was more complicated.

Scientists in another study found that one in ten cats have asthma related to indoor and outdoor air pollutants. Cats who lived with owners who smoke or burn wood fires were found to have severely decreased lung function.

Nevertheless, there are some indication that air pollution also affect dogs. One often cited study of dogs found that the Mexico City dogs’ brains showed increased inflammation and pathology including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, clumps of proteins that serve as a primary marker for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Although dog research is lacking, air pollution is a concern among dog owners: The world´s first air pollution mask for dogs was recently launched as a kickstarter project.

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