Just as in people, the second hand smoke from cigarettes can be extremely dangerous to your pets. If you are a smoker, you might be without knowing Second Hand Smoke - Gateway Animal Hospital St. Petersburg FLcreating some significant wellness concerns which will involve your pets. Since it most likely take you a longer time to notice any problems, the amount of harm caused to your pet may be  worse than you think and by the time you see any symptoms it might be too late.

Research has actually found that allergic reactions, skin disease and respiratory problems in cats and canines can be caused by those pet owners who  smoke in the pet’s environment. Besides second hand smoke, the consumption of nicotine, which can be dangerous in itself, can additionally occur from the ingestion of cigarette butts, replacement gum, nicotine patches and smoke contaminated drinking water. This is actually called 3rd 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 the “odor”  of the smoke is present then that is 3rd hand smoke.

Some of the more commonly harmed and suspectible pets that are  at risk include – dogs, cats, rabbits and especially birds.

Harm in our best friends (dogs):

Canines that reside in a residence with a smoker are more vulnerable to obtaining respiratory diseases, such as allergy to tobacco smoke, as compared with those that are living in a smoke free environment. Remarkably, nasal conditions, such as nasal cancer, are more widespread in long nosed pets than seen in the much shorter or medium nosed dogs. Why? Because the longer nosed pets provide a larger surface area where the carcinogens, when inhaled, can build up. Sadly, canines that develop nasal cancer rarely live for more than a year. Now on the other hand, those short nosed dogs, such as pugs, have a higher threat of developing pneumonia from second hand smoke. Another major adverse affect of secondhand cigarette smoking in pet dogs is long bone cancer. Besides inhaling the smoke, you need to also think about that the ingestion of carcinogens left in the contaminated environment, which includes the pet’s fur, rugs, carpets, furniture and many more potential sources. Consumption, by licking and grooming, of the carcinogens left behind is surely a significant means of potential adverse effects from second-hand smoke.

Damage in felines (cats):

Cats, just like pets, are vulnerable to second hand cigarette smoking. Allergic reaction and asthma are very common in cats. What even makes it more of a possible problem in cats is their grooming routines. Cats constantly groom themselves by licking their fur for and for that reason can even lick and ingest the carcinogens that build up on their fur. Due to this, mouth cancer such as Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC) can result. Second hand smoking cigarettes likewise has been associated with malignant lymphoma. Both of these cancers types have a poor prognosis when they occur in a cat and can be really costly to treat, which is usually not successful..

Damage in lagomorphs (rabbits):.

Second hand smoking from cigarettes also causes respiratory problems in rabbits plus diarrhea, throwing up, salivation and even cardiac abnormalities. Regrettably, it might be difficult to see the any signs and slowly, over time, the health of your pet bunny might  slowly regress.

Harm to birds:

Pet birds are also very susceptible to the adverse effects from second hand smoke coming from cigarettes. A bird’s respiratory system is really very sensitive to any kind of air pollutant in their environment. Therefore, the effects in birds can even be worse than those in various other pets. The reason why respiratory problems are more extreme in birds than in other animals, is due to the fact that  birds’ do not have a diaphragm and thus air is moved in and out by the tightening of body muscles. The absence of a diaphragm makes it easier  for them to inhale polluted air and harder to expell. A few of the various other hazards associated with second-hand smoke left by cigarettes in birds, include respiratory paralysis and pneumonia. Secondhand smoke can likewise cause feather destruction and plucking in your bird. When you wash a bird that lives with a cigarette smoker, the rinsing water will be brownish yellow in color and the feather will get an odor that remains until all the feathers molt.


As a result, if you are a cigarette smoker, it is essential that you refrain from smoking directly around your animals; otherwise you can trigger some significant health problems. Clearly, it would be most advantageous to quit smoking cigarettes, not only for the smoker’s benefit but likewise for their pet’s wellness; however, with that stated, if somebody smokes and has animals, the cigarette smoker needs to decrease the exposure to others and animals. This can be accomplished by smoking outside or at least utilize a designated “smoking only” space and keep the pets out of that area. Also,  avoid cigarette smoking in the automobile, particularly when pets are obviously traveling in the vehicle also.

The symptoms seen from second hand smoke may be as simple as the pet just being sluggish or lethargic (no energy), difficult breathing, coughing or possibly visible masses/sores around the mouth. If any of these are observed, the pet should be evaluated by the pet’s  veterinarian.

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(727) 577-6500

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and surgical care in North St. Petersburg Florida and surrounding areas.

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