Porter Ranch Gas Leak Affecting Pets: Vet - NBC Southern California

Coverage of the natural gas leak at SoCalGas Company's Aliso Canyon facility.

Porter Ranch Gas Leak Affecting Pets: Vet

Animals have been reported to have unexplained rashes, nosebleeds and intestinal issues.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Porter Ranch Residents Worry About Effects of Gas Leak on Pets

    A veterinarian in Porter Ranch says hundreds of pets have experienced odd ailments seen since the gas leak began. Kathy Vara reports for NBC4 News on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016)

    It's not just people who have unexplained symptoms since gas began escaping from a leaky well in Aliso Canyon, some say it's their pets too.

    One veterinarian in Porter Ranch says hundreds of pets have experienced odd ailments seen since the gas leak began. He says the animals have nosebleeds, rashes and respiratory problems and no one knows what the long term affects will be.

    Veterinarian Dr. David Smith of Northridge Veterinary Center says he's seen hundreds of animals with ailments that he believes are related to the gas leak.

    "Almost every day we are seeing one or two cases,” Smith says. "We are also seeing a lot of gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, pancreatitis."

    Most cases he sees are not life-threatening, but just as in humans, the symptoms may not be the same everyday.

    "We are seeing nosebleeds. Cats and dogs and conjunctivitis. A lot of really red, inflamed eyes."

    Dr. Smith says there is no way to know the long term risk from the leak that has released a reported 84,000 metric tons of methane and 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide since it started in October.

    The leak has forced thousands of families to move, with many have been separated from their pets because their temporary lodging won’t accept them.

    "(We) are also seeing a lot of anxiety issues with animals because of the disruption in their lives,” Smith says.

    Dr. Smith says it's best to leave pets indoors if at all possible or relocate them if you can.

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