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Posted on 08-19-2017

Pets and the Solar Eclipse

With the August 21st solar eclipse soon approaching we are told not to look at it without special glasses. This is because the sun sends powerful UV rays towards the earth which are most powerful when looking directly at the sun, on any day, not just during the eclipse. The UV rays damage the retina, the nerve complex in the back of the eye responsible for sight.

The retina does not have any pain receptors so you will not feel pain as the damage is being done. Even a sliver of direct sunlight causes damage, so when the sun is just partially blocked, damage can still be done to the eye. Special glasses are the only way to safely view the eclipse.

Pets do not naturally look directly at the sun and if they do it is only briefly, not long enough to cause damage. Good luck trying to keep solar glasses on your pet (cats-forget it!). If you are concerned, you can keep your pet inside during the short period of time the eclipse is happening but it is very unlikely they will be in danger during this period of time.

Space.com has a complete guide for how to view an eclipse safely

Dr. Ken Upton

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