Yes, we all know that tobacco is bad for your health. But did you know that cigarettes and other tobacco products are extremely harmful to your pets as well?
First, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reports that one of the leading causes of poisoning in dogs, cats & even birds is cigarette butts. Other nicotine products, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, cigars & chewing tobacco have been implicated in poisoning cases. Signs of nicotine poisoning can develop within 15 to 45 minutes and include excitation, salivation, vomiting, excessive panting & diarrhea. Advanced symptoms include muscle weakness, twitching, and coma. Death can result from cardiac arrest and respiratory paralysis.
Second hand smoke. Consider this; cats living in homes where people smoke are
more than twice as likely to to develop lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer. Studies have also shown a higher cancer rate among dogs and birds who live in smoking households, especially oral and nasal cancers. Researchers looked at a number of other possible risk factors, including diet, spay & neuter status, age, sex, breed, grooming, home characteristics, flea control products and oral medications.
Only smoking was an associated factor in a clear and significant manner. Cancer risk increased with the duration and quantity of exposure. Exposure for five years or more tripled the risk. Exposure to two or more smokers quadrupled the risk. If a pack a day was smoked in the household, the risk tripled again. It is thought that cats are more vulnerable to second hand smoke because they not only inhale it, but also get smoke residue on their fur, which they ingest while grooming themselves.
So if you needed one more reason to kick the habit, then do it for your pets!