Secondhand smoke harmful to pets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Secondhand smoke harmful to pets

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March 8, 2004

Albany - We all have heard that secondhand smoke can be dangerous to your health. Pets can get some of the same diseases as humans, including cancer.

You may feel like you look out for your furry friend's interest, but do you smoke? Albany Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dick Hydrick says he sees a lot of pets with upper respiratory problems. He says, "Often related to those who smoke."

Smoking around your pet can be dangerous to your four-legged friend's health.

Pets not only inhale the bad fumes, the smoke seeps into their fur and when cleaning themselves, the pets can take in nicotine with every lick. Hydrick adds, "We see a good bit of cancer in dogs and cats, but I can't specifically relate it to smoking because that's a long term thing, it doesn't happen overnight."

Animal Hospital worker Nancy Summerlin quit smoking last year because of health problems, but some workers were motivated to quit because of their sick patients. She says, "Miranda quit because we had a cat that came in and smelled just like a cigarette. We had it on oxygen for two to three days trying to bring it back out and eventually it died."

Unlike children, your pets will never be able to tell you the smoke bothers them.

If you're a pet owner who smokes, Veterinarians suggest you smoke outside.

If you smoke inside your home, the smoke will be trapped in clothes, furniture and carpet, meaning your pet will take in more nicotine.

posted at 6:00PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com