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second hand smoke and pets
Wouldn't you like to know the harmful effects of second hand smoke and pets? Please read below for an informative article on second hand smoke and pets. Remember, your animals are inhaling the same toxins that you are creating, and they have smaller lungs and are more at risk for many second-hand smoke related health issues.

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Second Hand Smoke

Author: Dr. Thom Myers, of Mesa Arizona

It surprises me how often we do things that potentially hurt the ones we love the most, usually without thinking. The only thing our K9 friends want, besides food, is to be with us and please us. Our feline friends, of course, want nothing better than for us to serve them. But in either case there main concern is for us to be near and spend time with them.

Physically and biologically there are many differences between the dog, the cat, and humans, but there are also many similarities. Included in these similarities is how they respond to environmental toxins. I’m speaking of a directly controllable toxin in the form of second hand smoke.

For those of us who are non-smokers, it’s easily detectable which animals belong to households where people smoke. Even after a day or two of hospitalization, the smoke is detectable on their fur. As much as this toxic substance coats the exterior of the pet, it also coats the interior and absorbs into the lung tissue and blood stream. We frequently see the same types of problems in pets as we do in humans relating to the second hand smoke. Included in these are lung disease, cancer, liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease, asthma and many more. The one component that lowers the instance of complications from this toxin is that our pets’ life expectancy is so much shorter than ours. 50 years of smoke is much more damaging then twelve years. But could we make that life expectancy greater without the smoke?

About a year ago I treated a beautiful 7 year old Old English Sheepdog named Bentley for lymphoma (a generalized type of cancer that attacks the lymph system). Bentley lived in a wonderful home where he meant the world to his owners. But both of them were avid smokers and every time Bentley came to see us, he reeked of smoke. After some very aggressive chemo-therapy, Bentley did very well for about a year. Unfortunately, Bentley just recently passed away from complications of the spread of the cancer.

Unlike our friends and family members, our pets don’t know that they are slowly being poisoned. All they want is to be with us, yet they can’t ask us not to smoke around them. So I’ll ask for them. Please, quit smoking (for your own health), if you must smoke, please do it outside or in a well ventilated area away form your pets.

Thanks and your friends will thank you in this life and the next.

Thom Myers DVM



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