Archive for April, 2009

Secondhand Smoke And Your Pets

Few pet parents are aware that our animal companions face  risks rangiong from respiratory problems to cancer when exposed to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is unsafe for pets as well as humans.One recent study shows that nearly 30 percent of pets live with at least one smoker. This is a grave concern, according to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, Medical Director of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, since secondhand smoke can damage the nervous systems of both cats and dogs. "Tobacco smoke has been shown to contain numerous cancer-causing compounds, making it hazardous for animals as well as humans," says Dr. Gwaltney-Brant. "Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many of the same harmful inflammatory changes in the airways and lungs of dogs as their human counterparts." Cats who live with smokers are prone to developing malignant lymphoma, perhaps as a result of ingesting carcinogenic residue when it settles on their fur. Dogs  are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke's respiratory effects, and can develop life-threatening nasal and lung cancers. Nicotine is  highly toxic to animals if ingested. A dog who accidentally eats tobacco may develop weakness, muscle twitching, decreased breathing rate, and finally collapse, coma and possibly death. The ASPCA strongly recommends keeping your pet away from tobacco as well as secondhand smoke. Avoid smoking around your pet  Smoke outside and preserve the lungs of your furry children.