Local veterinarian reacts to viral post about dog testing for vinyl chloride after train derailment

MARS, Pa. — It’s a chemical explosion seen around the region. Toxic chemicals released into the air have left residents worried not just for themselves, but their animals too.

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“Chickens or birds seem to be the most effected species they are very small, very small lungs oxygen capacity,” said Dr. Cynthia Maro with Cranberry Holistic Care & Ellwood Animal Hospital.

Reports of flocks of chickens dying has pet owners worried miles out from the train derailment site. A Facebook poster in Mars even showed up to her vet Dr. Maro’s as her dog was experiencing abnormal symptoms.

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“If they are resistant to eating or coughing showing respiratory signs like eye discharge or red eyes. If they are vomiting, I would go to your vet,” Maro said.

That’s what this woman did, but the big misconception is the line, “he tested positive for exposure to vinyl chloride and two other chemicals from the derailment.”

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Dr. Maro said there is absolutely no blood or tissue test yet available to test for those chemicals.

“I did tell the owner because her pet suffers from an autoimmune disease that her pet may have had toxic exposure. Her pet reacted as if there was exposure, but I can’t know what chemicals that pet was exposed to or if it was related to the derailment,” Maro said.

While she is treating the dog, she wants the public to be informed. Currently there is no test, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be down the line.

“You need documentation because if in the future this is determined to be possibility or related to the derailment you do need that documentation,” Maro said.

Dr. Maro is working with a toxicologist out of Purdue University and believes any animals that may get tested in the future if there is a test will be going to a facility outside of Columbus.

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