HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE ADVERSE EFFECTS SMOKING MAY HAVE ON YOUR PET'S HEALTH?
The latest research shows just how dangerous second and third-hand smoke is to the animals who live with us. Second-hand smoke is defined as ‘smoke that is exhaled or otherwise escapes into the air, and can be inhaled by non-smokers, including pets.’ Third- hand smoke is the ‘residue that remains on skin, fur, clothing, furniture, etc.,’ even after the air has cleared. Both of these categories may be combined under the term Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS).
One of the most dramatic studies that I’ve run across reveals a greatly increased risk of malignant lymphoma (also referred to as lymphoma or lymphosarcoma) in cats with exposure to ETS. The results showed that the relative risk for malignant lymphoma in cats with any household ETS exposure was almost 2 ½ times higher than that of cats living in smoke-free households. For cats with five or more years of ETS exposure, the relative risk climbed to 3.2 times higher than for cats in smoke-free homes. In other words, these cats were more than three times as likely to develop lymphoma as were cats who were not exposed to ETS.
This study, and others like it, also strongly suggest a link between oral cancer in cats and environmental tobacco smoke. When cats groom their fur, it includes the toxins contained in tobacco smoke on their fur, which damages tissues within the mouth, potentially leading to cancer.
Is vaping (inhaling a vaporized solution that contains nicotine) a safer alternative? Maybe, but according to the American Lung Association, “the FDA tested a small sample [of e-cigarettes] just a few years ago and found a number of toxic chemicals, including diethylene glycol — the same ingredient used in antifreeze.” That’s certainly not something that I’d want pets to inhale or lick off of their fur.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM
JANE HARRELL, PETFINDER.COM
It seems like a ‘no-brainer’ that smoking around your pet is bad. But how dangerous is second-hand smoke to pets? After all, your pet is not getting that much exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, right? Wrong. Pets spend a lot more time than you do in your home — increasing their exposure to carcinogenic substances. And those substances are just as dangerous for pets as they are for humans. “Dog and cat lungs are virtually identical to human lungs,” says Dr. Jan Bellows, DVM, a veterinarian at All Pets Dental Clinic in Weston, FL.
Here is what recent studies have to say about the dangers of Second-Hand Smoke:
Dogs and Second-Hand Smoke:
Studies suggest that muzzle length plays a role in the type of cancer a dog is likely to develop from secondhand smoke. According to a survey of recent research on LiveScience.com, dogs with long muzzles are more likely to develop nose and sinus cancers, since their noses and sinuses have more surface area on which carcinogens can accumulate, while dogs with short and medium-length muzzles are more likely to develop lung cancer.
Cats and Second-Hand Smoke:
Cats are more prone to develop cancers of the mouth and lymph nodes due to second-hand smoke. When cats groom themselves, they lick up the toxic substances that have accumulated on their fur. “This grooming behavior exposes the mucous membranes of their mouth to the cancer-causing carcinogens,” veterinarian Carolynn MacAllister of Oklahoma State University tells LiveScience.com.
In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that cats, living in homes where someone smokes a pack of cigarettes or more each day, are three times more likely to develop malignant lymphoma than cats living with nonsmokers. And a study published in Veterinary Medicine found that cats exposed to smoke from one to 19 cigarettes a day are four times more likely to be diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma — the most common and an aggressive type of oral cancer in cats.
The smell of any type of tobacco or even INCENSE can trigger allergies in cats [skin or sinus] as well as behavioral issue such as inappropriate urination. Obviously, giving up smoking is the best choice for the health of both humans and pets. However, if this is not an option, not smoking indoors and airing out clothing is a positive step and can reduce health risks. Running a quality air filter daily is also highly recommended to remove odor and residue from the home, and it certainly may help reduce human allergies.
This information is provided by Felines & Friends to promote long and healthy lives of both pets and their humans.
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