THE SECOND-HAND SMOKE AND OUR FURRY FELLOWS
Pets are the best part of our lives, it’s by them we learn the meaning of love.
“Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” -George Eliot, British Author
Along with the love, there are many health benefits of owning a pet too. Pets can help us manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. Most households nowadays have at least one pet.
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
- Increased opportunities for socialization
But what we need to understand in this topic is that just like us humans’ cigarettes are dangerous to animals in several ways too and it can affect each animal differently.
ARE THERE ANY LAWS YET?
We know the impact of smoking on our health since the 1970s but there’s not much that we have heard about the effects of smoking on pets.
Animals we keep as pets often have a similar body and working to our own, so understanding that they can also suffer from second-hand smoke should not be a big deal.
Unfortunately, in the case of animals and the effect of second-hand smoke on them, there is no law yet. It is not believed a crime for pets to live in households where owners smoke or be in vehicles where smoking takes place.
Veterinarians and animal public health bodies have been calling for changes to be made from many years now.
It is and should be the responsibility of people who keep these pets. Yes, they cannot speak but that does not mean they can be ignored in this case. After all, it is a life we are talking about ad it should be taken seriously.
LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT THE EFFECTS OF SECOND-HAND SMOKE ON OUR PETS
I’ll start with Clare Knottenbelt’s statement relating to her study on the effects of smoking on our pets,
“Our findings show that exposure to smoke in the home is having a direct impact on pets. It risks ongoing cell damage, increasing weight gain after castration and has previously been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers.’’
These little fellows don’t even know what is causing them the damage and if they die, this will be considered murder, not a natural death!
Second-hand smoke and its effect on the following pets:
- Respiratory Illnesses
- Eye Problems
- Nasal Cancers (for dogs with long, wide noses)
- Lung Cancer (for dogs with shorter noses)
Cats are at risk from both second-hand and third-hand smoke because they groom themselves so they can take in toxic cigarette elements.
- Blood cancer is known as Lymphoma
- Respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma
Birds have an advanced respiratory system which is very efficient at processing oxygen, and also toxins from the atmosphere like those in cigarette smoke.
- Prone to Skin Diseases
- Eye Diseases
fish are especially at risk to second smoke because water does not act as a barrier, and the toxins in smoke easily dissolve into the water which can poison the life inside very easily.
Mice, hamsters and other small pets suffer from
- Respiratory Issues like Emphysema and vascular diseases
IF YOU SMOKE AROUND YOUR PETS, DO WATCH OUT FOR THESE SYMPTOMS
If you see any of these symptoms and you smoke around them, don’t wait for a minute and take them to the vet. In households where people don’t smoke these symptoms may not be that big of a concern but if you smoke, it can be a warning for something extremely serious.
- Breathing Difficulty
- Pupil Dilation
- Gastrointestinal Irritation
- Excessive Scratching
- Excessive Licking
All symptoms mentioned above can be a sign of nicotine poisoning in your pets, it can be because of inhaling nicotine or because of coming into direct contact with nicotine.
These symptoms need a quick action which means there should not be any delay in taking your pet who has these symptoms to the vet.
‘nicotine is a rapid acting toxin and, often, pets will show signs of poisoning within 1 hour of ingestion’.
A LITTLE GUIDE ABOUT HOW TO VAPE AROUND PETS
There is no doubt that vaping is 95% safer than traditional cigarettes for human but what about the second-hand smoke problem?
Vaping does not produce any kind of second-hand smoke that can harm. It doesn’t burn the fluid inside it just vaporizes it. Whereas, smoke from cigarettes is burnt and it contains cancerous toxins.
But, with it being safe we still need to be a little careful and the reason for that is, animals don’t have a brain to think like us before doing anything. So, whenever you are vaping around pets just pay attention to your pets’ reaction to the vapour, certain smells may cause them to act oddly.
Responsibility is the key when it comes to the storage and use of e-liquids and vape kits. E-liquids and kits should always be kept out of reach from your pets because they contain nicotine which can harm them.
Before anyone talked about this in 2014, A 14-week-old bull terrier, Ivy, managed to cut an e-liquid bottle and ingest a small amount of nicotine-containing liquid inside. Regardless of the treatment from a vet, she unfortunately died and the reason was nicotine poisoning.
These little furry fellows add no much colour into our lives so why should we darken their lives just because we were careless. They deserve love and care because all we can see in their eyes is love. We should respect that!
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”- Martin Buber, German Philosopher