Secondhand smoke may cause pet health problems

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A cigarette billows smoke.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported secondhand smoke may be dire to pet health.

According to the source, research conducted at Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts showed a link between cats diagnosed with lymph node cancer and contact with secondhand smoke.

“Cats exposed to secondhand smoke developed lymphoma twice as often as cats in smoke-free homes,” the news source reported.

The study also revealed a probable link to other pet health problems in cats, such as oral cancer.

“Because cats groom themselves often, they lick the carcinogens that have been deposited on their fur,” the news provider reported.

Dr. Carolynn MacAllister, a veterinarian at Oklahoma State University, said cat health is compromised because the grooming “exposes the mucous membrane of their mouth to the cancer-causing carcinogens,” reported.

In another study done at Colorado State University, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that dogs exposed to smoke also had a higher chance of getting cancer.

“In dogs with long noses, the most common type of cancer associated with secondhand smoke was nasal cancer.”

The study found that short-nosed dogs often developed lung cancer.

“The reason short and medium nose dogs have a higher occurrence of lung cancer is because their shorter nasal passages aren’t as effective at accumulating the inhaled secondhand smoke carcinogens,” MacAllister told

According to the source it’s important, “for [pet health] and others living in the household, that the smoker has a designated area in which to smoke that is physically separated from the home.”

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