Imagine eating the contents of an ashtray?
THAT’S WHAT OUR ANIMALS MUST FEEL WHEN LIVING WITH A SMOKER
You don’t need us to tell you the harm that smoking can do to your body, or the risks to children and others from second hand smoking. But perhaps you’re unaware of the harm it can be doing to your pets. Because pets share our environments, they also share our environmental exposures – including tobacco smoke.
Second hand smoke kills. Studies have been linked to cancer in cats. They are twice likely to develop malignant lymphoma; this is the most common feline cancer. Lymphoma kills 3 out of 4 affected cats within 12 months.
With our cats being meticulous groomers, they become vulnerable to the carcinogens in tobacco which can cause squamous cell carcinoma (oral cancer).
In our dogs a study was done and found higher incidence of nasal tumors and cancer of the sinus. Unfortunately, dogs with nasal cancer do not usually survive more than a year.
Many veterinarians also feel that symptoms in their patients with respiratory disease such as asthma or bronchitis improve if the owner’s quit smoking. For those that do smoke, there are a few ways to tell if your habit is affecting your pet’s health.
Disposing of your tobacco may also prove hazardous, your nosey pets who like to dig in the trash, who eat everything on a walk can get gastrointestinal upset – such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and trembling. High doses of nicotine can lead to seizing or even death. Cigarettes butts are especially dangerous as they contain 25 % of the nicotine found in the cigarette.
If you think your dog or cat has eaten a cigarette, cigarette butt, tobacco, nicotine chewing gum, vapor inserts please call the North Town Veterinary Hospital.
There are many reasons to quit smoking – what about quitting for the sake of your furry family member.
Written by Rebecca Lamont, RVT