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Don’t Smoke Around Pets!

March 17, 2011

While most Americans are educated about the dangers of smoking to humans, many don’t realize the negative effects of cigarette smoke on their pets.  According to the Surgeon General’s Report, there are no safe levels of exposure to secondhand smoke for either humans or animals.

A number of scientific studies indicate a strong connection between second-hand smoke and pets.  In a Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine study, they found “a strong correlation between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and oral cancer in cats.  The findings determined that cats living with more than one smoker and cats exposed to ETS for longer than 5 years have an ever high risk of this type of cancer.  It is assumed that because cats groom themselves so carefully, that they lick up the carcinogens deposited on their fur.

Another study conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that cats exposed to ETS have an elevated risk of developing malignant lymphoma.  This type of cancer is fatal to 3 out of 4 cats within 12 months of onset.

Dogs exposed to ETS are subject to nasal/sinus cancer and possibly to lung cancer.  Long-nosed dogs, such as Collies, have significant susceptibility.  Short or medium-nosed dogs showed higher rates of lung cancer.

Pet birds are also subject to pollution by second-hand smoke.  A bird’s respiratory system is extremely sensitive, and ETS can cause lung cancer as well as eye, skin, heart and fertility problems. (www.sciencedaily.com/2007/08/070831123420.htm)

The best solution for all is to stop smoking, or at least confine your smoking to an outside area away from pets and other humans.

 

 

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