Pampered pets: Is smoking bad for our four-legged friends?
I have read that smoking around pets is bad for their health. I am not a smoker but some of my friends are and they have cats. Should I broach the subject with them?
A. based on university research, the veterinary press suggested earlier this week that vets should bring up the subject of smoking with owners when carrying out vaccinations and health checks. It is very likely that breathing in passive smoke, especially in confined spaces such as cars, can have a negative effect on an animal’s health.
The number of nasal cancer cases in long-nosed dogs continues to rise because the carcinogens found in smoke can become trapped in the mucous of the nasal passages.
Lung cancer is thought to affect short-nosed dogs because the smoke can enter the lungs quicker.
Chronic bronchitis in older animals is also quite common. Your friends should be aware that ongoing research has suggested a link between smoke on the coat of cats and intestinal lymphoma due to their fastidious grooming. In my opinion you should advise your friends to contact their vet for advice rather than giving it yourself.
David Grant MBE was a vet at the RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital for Animals. Write to him at Express Yourself, 10 Lower Thames St, London, EC3R 6EN. He is unable to enter into individual correspondence.