|Smoking harms your pets, too!
New research shows that second-hand smoke is as dangerous for your family pets as it is for your children, and the other people you live with, work with, or hang around.
Please take the same precautions with your pets as you have been taught to take around other people! It can save your pet's life :)
Veterinarian researchers are pulling together the facts; so far they have conducted studies on pet cats, dogs, and birds. (This doesn't mean that these are the only pets harmed by smoking around them - research for other types of pets is underway.)
Take a look at some of the known effects of cigarette smoke on your pet's health:
Mouth cancer in cats|
MacAllister cited a study done by the Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine that showed that the number of cats living with mouth cancer (also known as squamous cell carcinoma) was higher for those living in homes with smokers than those who lived in smoke-free environments.
"One reason cats are so susceptible to secondhand smoke is because of their grooming habits," MacAllister said. "Cats constantly lick themselves while grooming, therefore they lick up the cancer-causing carcinogens that accumulate on their fur. This grooming behavior exposes the mucous membranes of their mouth to the cancer-causing carcinogens."
Cats living with smokers are also twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma, a cancer that occurs in the lymph nodes and that is fatal to three out of four cats within 12 months of developing it.
Lung and nose cancer in dogs
Studies have also shown that dogs living in a smoking household are susceptible to cancers of the nose and sinus area, particularly if they are a long-nosed breed, because their noses have a greater surface area that is exposed to carcinogens and a greater area for them to accumulate. Dogs affected with nasal cancer normally don't survive for more than one year.
Short and medium-nosed dogs are more susceptible to lung cancer, "because their shorter nasal passage aren't as effective at accumulating the inhaled secondhand smoke carcinogens," MacAllister said. "This results in more carcinogens reaching the lungs."
Birds are also at risk for lung cancer, as well as pneumonia, because their respiratory systems are hypersensitive to any type of air pollutant.
To help prevent animals from being adversely affected by smoking, pet owners who smoke should have a designated smoking area that is separated from the home or stop smoking altogether, MacAllister said.
(from LiveScience.com Secondhand Smoke Causes Cancer in Pets)
|Tobacco smoke is also known to cause allergies, eye and skin diseases, respiratory problems, and heart abnormalities in cats and dogs. |
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