Read the full article by Ben Helwig (WSAW)
“Nearly a month ago, PFAS were found in all Wausau wells, contaminating the water. As many try to understand more on how it affects people, there is little study on how it affects domestic animals like dogs and cats.
Dr. Heather Stapleton at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment worked on a study with Duke and North Carolina State University, looking into how chemicals can affect dogs. Through that, they looked to understand more about humans.
‘The thought behind this process was to understand some of the exposures that our companions, our pets experience on a daily basis,’ said Dr. Stapleton.
While the study wasn’t directly looking into PFAS, it did shed light on how everyday chemicals can affect dogs. Dogs’ high metabolism makes them a different study than humans. Dr. Stapleton said not a lot has been done specifically regarding PFAS.
‘I think we still don’t know as much about how these chemicals are metabolized or they impact our body relative to dogs because there are some differences,’ said Dr. Stapleton.
Previous research suggests PFAS can damage animals’ liver and immune systems. Similar to suggestions for humans, Dr. Stapleton advises pet owners to get a filtration system for water if possible.
‘I would certainly recommend that they try to install some kind of filter devices that can try to remove some of the PFAS for themselves and for their pets,’ said Dr. Stapleton.
Other animals certainly can be impacted as well. The Wisconsin DNR says PFAS can affect hatching success in birds. It can also cause other issues such as thyroid problems, behavioral abnormalities and immuno-toxicity.”