Just as in people, second hand cigarette smoking can be extremely dangerous to your pets. If you are a cigarette smoker, you may be unknowingly increasing the risk of some serious health concerns influencing your animals. Because it would take you a longer time to see any issues, the unsafe impacts in animals can be even worse. By the time you observe any symptoms it might be too late.
Research has found that allergies, skin disease and respiratory issues, in cats and pets, can result from previously smoking. Besides second-hand smoke, the ingestion of nicotine, which can be dangerous in itself, can also take place from cigarette butts, replacement gum, nicotine patches and contaminated drinking water. This is actually termed third hand smoke.
“A recent study from Harvard Medical School, published in the January 2009 Journal of Pediatrics, found additional health risks associated with what they termed “third-hand smoke,” describing the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, cars, and carpeting that lingers long after the second-hand smoke has cleared the room.” (Dr. Karen Becker, Healthy Pets, September 17, 2009).
If you can “smell” the smoke then that is third hand smoke.
Some of the more typically effected and vulnerable pets include dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.
Damage in pet dogs:
Canines that live in a home with a cigarette smoker are more vulnerable to obtaining respiratory illness, such as allergy to tobacco smoke, as compared to those that are residing in a smoke free environment. Surprisingly, nasal illness, such as nasal cancer, is more widespread in long nosed pets than shorter or medium nosed pets. This is due to the fact that the longer nosed dogs offer more area where the carcinogens, when inhaled, can build up. Unfortunately, pet dogs that establish nasal cancer hardly ever survive for more than a year. Now on the other hand, short nosed pets, such as pugs and cats, have a greater risk of developing pneumonia from second hand smoke and lung cancer. An additional significant side effect of secondhand cigarette smoking in pet dogs is long bone cancer. Likewise you have to consider that the environment, which includes the pet’s fur, contaminated rugs, carpets, furniture, etc., can be a secondhand source, due to consumption, by licking and grooming, of the carcinogens left.
Harm in cats:
Cats, much like pet dogs, are vulnerable to secondhand smoke. Allergy and asthma are very typical in cats in these smoking households. What even makes it more of a potential problem in cats is their grooming habits. Cats continuously groom themselves by licking their fur and as a result can ingest more of the cancer causing carcinogens that accumulate on their fur. Due to this, mouth cancer such as Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) can result. Secondhand smoke likewise correlates to malignant lymphoma occurrence. Both of these cancers types have a poor prognosis when they occur in a cat and can be really expensive if treatment is attempted.
Harm in rabbits:
Secondhand smoke likewise causes respiratory issues in rabbits plus diarrhea, throwing up, salivation and even cardiac problems. Sadly, it might be tough to see these clinical problems, which occur, in time to be treatable, thus the health of your pet might slowly deteriorate.
Harm in birds:
Pet birds are also susceptible to illness troubles from secondhand smoke. A bird’s respiratory system is really sensitive to any type of air toxin in the surroundings. Therefore, the effects in birds can even be worse than those in other animals. Due to the lack of a diaphragm, it easier for them to inhale polluted air. Some of the other threats associated with second hand smoking in birds consist of respiratory paralysis and pneumonia. Second hand smoke can also trigger feather damage and plucking in birds. If you clean a bird that lives with a smoker, the rinsing water will be brownish yellow in color and the feather will have an odor that stays until all the feathers molt.
As a result, if you are a cigarette smoker, it is best that you refrain from cigarette smoking around your pets; otherwise, you might trigger some significant illness problems. Clearly, it would be best to give up cigarette smoking not just for the smoker’s benefit; however, likewise for their pet’s health. Nonetheless, with that stated, if someone smokes and has animals, the cigarette smoker needs to decrease the exposure to their pets. This can be achieved by smoking outside or utilize a designated smoke only room and keep the pets out of the space. Also, avoid smoking cigarettes in the vehicle, particularly when pets are also traveling in the automobile.
Signs of illness from second hand smoke might be as basic as the pet just being sluggish (no energy), difficulty in breathing, coughing or noticeable masses/sores involving the mouth. If any of these happen the pet must be taken to a veterinarian for an assessment.