Secondhand smoke has been known to adversely affect non-smoking people. Are you aware that pets are also seriously affected? Several studies have shown that secondhand tobacco smoke causes certain types of cancer in dogs and cats.
Colorado State Univ conducted 2 studies to determine whether exposure to environmental tobacco smoke increases the risk of nasal and lung cancer in dogs.
They discovered that:
– long-nosed dogs such as pugs and pit bulls have an increased risk of nasal cancer. This could be due to enhanced filtration and exposure of the nasal membrane to carcinogens.
– short-nosed dogs such as collies and German Shepherds have an increased risk of lung cancer. A possible explanation could be that the lungs are exposed to more carcinogens as less are being filtered in the nose.
In a study conducted by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Massachusetts, cats exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have a higher risk of developing feline lymphoma.
In another study, also by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Massachusetts, cats develop feline oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Cats living in a smoking household are exposed to carcinogens through inhalation and ingestion. As cats tend to lick themselves during grooming, they also ingest other types of chemicals from anti-flea products. Cotinine (metabolized nicotine) has been detected in the urine of cats exposed to passive smoking.
If you smoke and own a pet, quit the habit. Don’t risk the lives of your pet and other non-smokers (kid, wife, husband, mum, dad, etc) in the same household. Watch out for respiratory problems in your pet as these can be signs of lung or nasal cancer.