It is not a matter of confusion or lack of knowledge to know that smoking poses a threat to the health of smokers as well as to the people who come in contact with second-hand smoke. If the smoke is harmful to humans, it sure has almost the same or even more harming effect on the pets you share your home with.
For those who do not know what Second Hand Smoke is, it is the smoke that is exhaled by the smokers which is in turn inhaled by those around the smoker. Third Hand Smoke on the other hand is the residue from the smoke that remains on the skin, fur, clothing and furniture even after the air has been cleared.
Second and Third hand smoke can also be called Tobacco smoke. With this article, we will look into the link between the smoke and serious diseases that are caused in cats as well as dogs.
The Effects Of Tobacco Smoke On Cats
To understand the diverse effects of smoke on Cats, there have been many studies that were conducted and published. One of the studies demonstrated the increased risk of Cancer of the Lymphatic system (Lymphoma) in cats that belonged to households with smokers. The study showed that those exposed to the Tobacco smoke had a 2 ½ times higher risk than the cats that lived in smoke-free homes.
It is clearly mentioned and backed by structured tests that 5 or more years of exposure to this smoke increases the risk to 3.2. These multiple studies also strongly suggested a link between oral cancers in cats and third hand smoke. It is thought that cats groom the toxins contained in tobacco smoke out of their fur, which damages tissues in their mouths which eventually leads to oral cancer.
The Effects Of Tobacco Smoke On Dogs
Just as in cats, dogs too face severe problems due to the exposure to Tobacco smoke. These problems mainly begin with a cancer of the respiratory tract. Interestingly, the type of cancer the dogs got was influenced by the shape of their heads.
Different breeds faced problems due to the structure of their noses and bodies. Dogs with longer noses (like that of Collie) had an increased risk of Nasal Cancer by about 250%.
Dogs with shorter noses developed a risk to Lung cancer under similar conditions. The difference in the effects of the smoke with the different sizes of the noses is because of a simple reason. The reason is that extensive nasal passages of long-nosed dogs help in filtering the toxins which protects the lungs but harms the nasal tract and those with short noses cannot filter the toxins and get their lungs damaged.
Many other studies underline the damage that tobacco smoke does to the lining of the respiratory tract and a possible link to non-cancerous diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma.
Considering all the studies and researches carried out by professionals, it is safe to say that owners who smoke put forth a threat to the health of the pets. The exposure to second and third hand smoke is likely to cause a hindrance in the proper functioning of their bodies. To avoid this, you can either decrease their exposure by choosing to smoke outside or try to quit for their and your own good.
Although it is wise to inform that statistics show that those who smoke outside still are carriers of the smoke and can only decrease the possibility of cancer to pets but not eliminate it.
The choice is yours.