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Smokers Put Pets at Risk - by: Marilyn Pokorney
Do you smoke? Need an incentive to quit? Do you have pets?
Then that beloved pet just might be the incentive you need to stop.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have discovered that pets are affected by second-hand smoke.

Cats living with a smoker are two times more likely to get feline lymphoma than one that's not. After five years the rate increases to three times as likely. When there are two smokers in the home, the chances of a cat getting feline lymphoma increases to four times as likely and after five years, three times the rate of cats living in smokefree homes.

Dogs living in a smoking household have a 60 percent risk of getting lung cancer.

Long-nosed dogs, such as collies or greyhounds, are twice as likely to develop nasal cancer if they live with smokers.

Pets of all sizes and ages are affected. But especially small pets, the very young and the old.

Second-hand smoke contributes to a other pet ills as well.
As a smoker exhales, the air is filled with poisonous fumes.

A pets eyes can become irritated due to the smoke's effects on the tiny blood vessels found within the eye.

Smoke can damage the sensitive lungs in a pet. Additionally, the noxious fumes can cause a cold that can lead to more serious, life-threatening conditions.

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Smoke inhalation quickly irritates an animal's throat because animals have a shorter esophagus than humans.

Just as smoke affects furniture, rugs, curtains, etc. the smoke also affects a pet's living quarters and gets into the pet's fur and skin. A cats hair continuously traps large
quantities of smoke particles just like drapery, furniture and clothing. The cat sniffs and inhales these concentrated particles from his fur while grooming which leads to lymphoma in the nasal passages and intestines as well as the chest.

Some pets are allergic to smoke.

Animals have a very acute sense of smell and the odor of smoke is very offensive to them.

Nicotine is a highly toxic chemical. Some pets may suffer the effects of nicotine poisoning when exposed to high concentrations.

If a pet has respiratory allergies such as asthma, the illness is going to be worsened by constantly breathing the second hand smoke.

Respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and a collapsing trachea are the most common possible causes of a chronic cough in dogs. The constant irritation eventually causes the trachea to lose its round open shape. It begins to collapse resulting in even more coughing and irritation, and to an untreatable, intolerable condition usually leading to euthanasia.

So the next time you light up, think of the air that your beloved pet is being forced to inhale.

Here is more information on helping you to kick the smoking habit: