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An Otter in the Seattle Aquarium Has Asthma and It's Adorable

Its trainers have taught it to use an inhaler.
September 17, 2015, 10:50pm

Still via KING-TV

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By all accounts, Mishka looks like all the other otters at the Seattle Aquarium. The one-year-old animal has big black eyes, a coat like a teddy bear, and floppy movements that make it impossible to look at her without cooing. But Mishka is, in fact, an anomaly, because she is the first of her species to be diagnosed with asthma.

According to the Associated Press, Mishka was diagnosed by Dr. Lesanna Lahner, the Seattle Aquarium's resident vet, after smoke from Seattle-area wildfires hindered her breathing. Now, Mishka's trainer, Sara Perry, is teaching her to use an inhaler by pushing her nose against it and breathing deeply.

Since Mishka will likely have to use the inhaler for the rest of her life, Lahner told KING-TV the staff was trying to make the experience as fun as possible for the otter. "Any kind of medical behavior you're training, you want to make sure it's nice and positive."

You can see KING-TV's video of Mishka here.