Your pets will be happier if you give up cigarettes
By Leslie Kawamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
Excerpt from the Honolulu Advertiser
Secondhand smoke has been associated with heart disease, lung disease and cancer in humans. What about pets?
Kathleen Koga, youth education coordinator from the state Department of Health, has done considerable research about how secondhand smoke affects pets.
Cats, fastidious groomers, ingest smoke particles by licking their fur. In a Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine study, cats were found to be prone to oral cancer called squamous-cell carcinoma, and those who live with smokers are three times more likely to develop lymphomas — cancer of the lymph nodes — the most common type of feline cancer. The ingested carcinogens get into the cat's bloodstream and are filtered through the lymph glands.
Long-nosed dogs, when exposed to secondhand smoke, are at greater risk for nasal cancer, while short-nosed dogs often get lung cancer. Sadly, dogs with nasal cancer do not live more than a year.
In 2001 Colorado State University study, toxins from cigarette smoke were found in urine samples of dogs.
If you don't want to quit for your own health, then do it for your pets.
For more information about the Great American Smoke Out event at UH, go to www.hawaii.edu/beat-it.
Animal lover Leslie Kawamoto has been with the Advertiser for 18 years, or 126 in dog years. Check out her blog at www.HonoluluAdvertiser.com/Blogs