Passive Smoking Injurious to Cats, Says Researchers

By December 31 | See Comments

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Pet owners rarely think about the harm smoking is causing to their pets, but it is about time they gave it due attention and made some changes. Passive smoking is not just a health concern for humans but for pets as well. Researchers had earlier shown that dogs exposed to smoking environments have greater cell damage than those that are present in non-smoking environments. They also run at risk of developing cancer and gaining weight. The latest study shows that cats are susceptible to health deterioration and conditions due to exposure to smoke as well, and even more so than what was seen with dogs.The research is being carried out by Professor Clare Knottenbelt from Glasgow University Small Animal Hospital. The researcher has been studying how being exposed to a smoking environment impacts the health of pets, both cats and dogs. The main premise of this research was to observe the link between lymphoma and passive smoking in cats. She investigated the health impacts from passive smoking by comparing 40 cats that were not exposed to smoke and 39 cats that were exposed to it. What did not come as a surprise was that the cats that had been exposed to smoke showed greater nicotine levels than the other cats that were a part of the study. According to her, smoking has worse effects on cats than dogs, possibly because they engage in self-grooming extensively, and end up taking in a greater volume of smoke in the process. The researcher says that this puts cats at a higher risk of developing cancer than dogs that are exposed to smoking environments. She also observed if having access to the outdoors cut down the health risks associated with smoking environment, to find that it did not make a massive difference. Pet owners who chose to smoke outdoors away from their cats brought down the nicotine exposure level in them, but it did not protect them from its impact entirely.Previously, researchers had observed the genes in the testicle of neutered dogs and found that the gene that was responsible for cell damage was greater in dogs that were exposed to smoking environments, as opposed to those that were in non-smoking environments. The same gene was found to be modified in certain cases of dog cancers, according to other research studies, hinting at the possibility that passive smoking could cause a risk of cancer in dogs.The latest research has not yet been published, and is still in progress. The researcher hopes to raise awareness about the ill-effects of smoking among pet owners so they can make improvements for the

wellness of their pets

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