Pet owners will be able to breathe easier after Toronto Fire Services receives a donation of animal oxygen masks on Thursday.
Fire chief vans in all 16 districts will be kitted out with a $100 set of three masks, in sizes big enough to fit a Great Dane and small enough to resuscitate a parrot.
“A dog has a snout, so it’s a longer style mask than for a human,” said Dr. Barbara Bryer, head of the emergency department at Veterinary Emergency Clinic, which is donating half the masks. The rest are a gift from the pet safety company, Invisible Fence of the Greater Toronto Area.
About 20 Toronto pets suffer from fire-related smoke inhalation every year.
Firefighters will not get specific training in using the masks on frightened or unconscious pets, said fire department Capt. Adrian Ratushniak, but treating a dog is comparable to treating “a small child.”
He wasn’t sure if only dogs and cats would be eligible for oxygen treatment. “I imagine the small masks would probably be suitable for a ferret.”
*Taken from the Toronto Star.