Effects Of Second Hand Smoke On Pets

Eve Sherrill York By Eve Sherrill York, 29th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/34k1sn2l/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

It only makes sense that if second hand cigarette smoke is causing both heart disease and lung cancer deaths in thousands of humans annually that it is doing the same to our defenseless pets. We love them and we want the best for them but do we really realize what a hazard we are causing them in allowing cigarette smoking in homes, vehicles and public places?

Second Hand Smoke and its Effect on Dogs and Cats

Second-hand smoke(also called Environmental Tobacco Smoke or ETS)contains smoke that has been exhaled by a smoker and that which is released from the end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe. This contains over 4,000 chemicals which include formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, arsenic, chromium and benzene just to name a few. At least 250 of these chemicals are known to cause disease. Over the last 30 years evidence has shown that people who are repeatedly exposed to this ETS are much more likely to develop and then die from lung cancer, heart and breathing problems. Several studies have been done that show increases in lung disease and eye irritation in dogs, cats and birds.

ETS causes 7,300 deaths attributed to lung cancer and 34,000 deaths due to heart disease each year. If these statistics are true in humans we can only surmise that the fate for our pets is just as grim.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 126 million Americans are being exposed to second hand smoke where ever they are no matter if it is in their cars, at home, where ever smokers are allowed to smoke their cigarettes. So what about our pets? Such cancers as nasal and lung cancers in dogs, lymphoma and oral cancer in cats and even lung cancer in birds are afew of the threats.

A study done by the Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts shows that cats living in the homes of smokers have a higher incidence level of mouth cancer than that of cats living in smoke free environments. The reason cats are susceptable to this is because of their grooming habits. A cat is constantly licking themselves and they lick up carcinogens into their mouth from their fur. Also, cats living in homes where there are smokers are twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma which is a cancer that occurs in the lymph nodes. This type of cancer is fatal to three out of four cats that develop it.

Studies also show that dogs, especially long noised breeds, are susceptible to nose and sinus type cancers and those who get the nasal cancer do not usually survive longer than one year. Medium or short nosed dog breeds are more apt to get lung cancer because their shorter nasal passages are not able to accumulate the secondhand smoke carcinogens they inhale and so more of them reach the lungs.

Birds are in danger of lung cancer and pneumonia because of how sensitive their unique respiratory systems are to any air pollutant.Some harmful products in smoke are in the form of gas and cannot be filtered out with special fans or ventilation systems. The smoke of one single cigarette can take many hours to clear. As well as tobacco birds need to avoid smoke from house fires, burnt food and even burnt teflon.

Bonding with animals and having them share our lives means they also share our living spaces and are exposed to the same environmental hazards as we are. Finding an area that can be designated as your smoking spot in a completely isolated area of the living area where your animals and other members of your family would be is a very good idea. This will minimize the secondhand smoke exposure of that of your pets as well as children and other members of your family. Or stop smoking all together.

Tags

Pets, Second Hand Smoke

Meet the author

author avatar Eve Sherrill York
I am an award winning author and have enjoyed writing online for about a dozen years now. I like to write about what interests me and that list is long.

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