Passive smoking in pets increases their risk of serious diseases

Smoking is also bad for the health of dogs and cats, shows a study from the University of Glasgow. This establishes a link between a smoky environment and an increased risk of diseases in pets.

Damaged cells, weight gain after castration and increased possibility of contracting certain cancers await animals exposed to smoke, underlines Clare Knottenbelt, professor of medicine and oncology at the Veterinary Institute of this Scottish university.

Cats more at risk than dogs

The study showed that dogs absorb a significant amount of smoke when they live in a house. On cats, this research shows that they are even more affected, perhaps because of their thorough grooming which would increase the amount of smoke absorbed by their bodies. The study also shows that the levels of nicotine in the hair decrease significantly if consumption in the house drops below 10 cigarettes per day.

Smoking poses cancer risk in pets

The Glasgow researchers also found in the testicles of neutered males a marker gene for damaged cells that is more present in dogs living in a smoker’s household. This gene is altered in certain canine cancers, and it is less so when the owner smokes outside the house, thus reducing the exposure of his favorite animal. The risk for the smoker is doubled by a risk of passive smoking for the others and the owners of dogs and cats often forget the risk that they pose to their animals specifies the researchers, who plead for the cessation of tobacco, the best solution for the health and the well-being of your companion.

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Bawazeer S: Determination of nicotine exposure in dogs subjected to passive smoking using methanol extraction of hair followed by hydrophilic interaction chromatography in combination with Fourier transform mass spectrometry. Talanta.15;88:408-11. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2011.11.008.


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