Monday, January 7, 2013


OK, the snafu for publishing the blog has been remedied...for now.  Let's see if this gets everybody caught up and on the same page!

The topics of smoking and second hand smoke still make appearances from time to time in the popular new media and various professional publications.  Helpful Buckeye suspects that we will probably reach a lower end of the smoking population that will represent that portion below which not much change will be seen.  If those people opt to remain in that group, that's pretty much their decision to live with.  However, with increasing awareness of the inherent dangers of second hand smoke (both short term and long term), it becomes a greater responsibility for smokers to be considerate of non-smokers around them as well as any pets who might suffer from their proximity.

Secondhand smoke increases risk of pet getting

Dear Christopher Cat: My veterinarian claimed she smelled cigarette smoke on my cat's fur, and she recommended I quit smoking or smoke outdoors. She said my smoking would give my cat cancer, but she strikes me as a nonsmoking zealot on a mission. What are the facts?
 Christopher responds: Research results support your vet's recommendation.
 When you smoke, most of the cigarette's toxins settle on the furniture and the floor. When your cat dozes there, the toxins cling to her fur.
 Thus, she ingests the toxins when she grooms herself, and she also inhales them in the secondhand smoke. To make matters worse, your cat undoubtedly spends all her time in your smoky home, whereas you probably get away for hours at a time.
 Studies have shown that cats who live with a smoker are twice as likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth or throat and 2.4 times more likely to develop lymphoma (also called lymphosarcoma) anywhere in the body than cats who live in a smoke-free home.
 If you live with someone who smokes, your cat's risk of lymphoma increases to 4.1 times normal.
 You already know that smoking increases your own risk of disease and makes your clothing and hair smell bad. So give yourself the gift of fresh air and thank your veterinarian for helping both you and your cat get healthy.

Adapted from:

Secondhand smoke is harming pets

By Bryon Saxton

If Spot could speak, he might tell his owners — if they smoked — that all that secondhand smoke is “ruff” on the both of them.

A Davis County Health Department educator and a nationally recognized Davis County veterinarian, after reviewing information from recent veterinary studies, contend secondhand smoke has serious effects on pets in the household.
They hope that educating pet owners who smoke about the dangers of secondhand smoke and the risk it poses to their pets will encourage them to quit smoking.
Studies show nearly 30 percent of pet owners who smoke would try to quit if they learned secondhand smoke could harm their pets, while fewer than 2 percent would quit smoking for the sake of their children, according to Gloria Yugel, a community health educator with the Davis County Health Department.
“Secondhand smoke is just as damaging to your pet’s health as it is to a human’s health,” Yugel said. “Exposure to secondhand smoke has been associated with allergies in dogs, eye and skin diseases in birds, lymph gland and oral cancers in cats, nasal and lung cancer in dogs, and respiratory problems in both cats and dogs.”
Other pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, or any bird species also are vulnerable to the dangers of secondhand smoke inhalation, Yugel said.
A recent study by U.S. veterinarians concluded that cats whose owners smoked were prone to feline lymphoma, a form of cancer that kills three out of four cats within a year of diagnosis, Yugel said.
Researchers found that such cats were twice as likely to develop the disease when compared to cats with nonsmoking owners, she said.
It also was revealed that if two people living in the house smoke, the risk for the cat to get cancer is four times greater, Yugel said.
Dogs are similarly endangered by secondhand smoke.
“Researchers have established that the development of canine asthma, as well as nasal and lung cancer, may be prompted by exposure to secondhand smoke,” Yugel said.
“People need to be aware that domesticated pets used to live in the wild, and they relied on their heightened sense of smell to survive. Because of this, their nasal membranes are much more sensitive than humans’ membranes,” said Clayne R. White, a veterinarian at Bayview Animal Hospital in Farmington.
“Asthma in cats is already a common ailment. We have found that if a cat lives in a home where someone smokes, the cat’s chances of developing asthma are 10 times greater than in a nonsmoking household,” said White, who gained national notoriety in 2010 when he took two white Bengal tiger cubs into his Kaysville home after they had been abandoned by their mother in captivity at the Lagoon zoo.
“Also, dogs are at risk. So, if someone in your household smokes,” White said, “watch out for your dog coughing, wheezing or having difficulties breathing.”
Secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous for puppies when they have weaker immune systems, making them more susceptible to infection, White said.
For those interested in free, effective smoking cessation resources, call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-Quit.Now or visit

Adapted from:

Smoking Endangers Animals Too

Smoking isn’t just bad for people; it harms our animal friends as well. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine have found that cats who live with smokers are more than twice as likely to suffer from feline lymphoma, and population studies suggest that environmental smoke may increase the risk of nasal and lung cancer in dogs. If that doesn’t prompt smokers with animal companions to quit, I don’t know what will.
Fortunately, a study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention suggests that many smokers with animal companions would butt out cigarettes if they knew that they were putting their dog’s or cat’s health at risk.
Nearly 3,300 people participated in an online survey aimed at determining if smokers would change their behavior if they knew that it harmed their animal’s health. One in five of the people who took the survey smoked, and more than one in four lived with a smoker. Of the smokers, one in three said that knowing that smoking was bad for their animal’s health would compel them to kick the habit. Nearly one in 10 people would ask a partner to quit, and one in seven would ask their partner to smoke outside.
It’s a start, at least. No one should put their best buddy’s health in danger—ever. If you care about animals, you really need to stop smoking, pronto. Do it for yourself, all your loved ones, and animals in laboratories too.
The dogs forced to “smoke” up to 15 cigarettes a
PET dogs are forced to inhale the equivalent of up to 15 cigarettes a day by owners with a regular nicotine habit, Scottish scientists have discovered.
Research at the University of Glasgow found high levels of nicotine in the hair of pets living in households with smokers .
The team say exposure to cigarette smoke is almost certain to result in an increased chance pet dogs will suffer cancer or other serious conditions.
Around one in four dogs is struck down by cancer and vets say it does not even occur to many smokers they are putting their pets at risk.
Aiko, fitted with a special sensor, who is taking part in a Glasgow University study to measure dogs’ exposure to cigarette smoke.
The Glasgow researchers closely examined the coats of 38 dogs – 23 of which had been had been exposed to “environmental tobacco smoke”.
Sixteen pets had been exposed to tobacco smoke regularly, through close contact with smoking owners, in their home, during car travel, or outdoors.
The amount of nicotine in these dogs’ coats – a reliable indicator of their exposure to cigarette smoke – ranged from 1mg to 11.3mg.
The higher figure is the equivalent of directly smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, according to Professor Claire Knottenbelt, who led the study.
She said the research proved without a doubt that carcinogens would have passed into the dogs – and statistically almost certainly increase their risk of cancer.
The Professor of Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at Glasgow University said: “An average dog, regularly exposed, smokes between one cigarette per day and one cigarette per week depending on coat variables."
“A dog with 11mg smoked about 11-15 cigarettes per day.”
She added: “In non-smoking environments, the amount of nicotine to hair concentration was generally low, or zero.
“With dogs that had been exposed to cigarette smoke, it was very high and comparable to children in a passive-smoking environment.
Prof Knottenbelt: Some owners who smoke do not associate their pet’s cancer with exposure to cigarettes.
“There has been a very big drive to link a children’s exposure to smoke in the house, but with dogs, people don’t think about it.
“They love their pets – in some cases more than they love their children – but they don’t stop and think.”
The professor, who regularly treats dogs with cancer, said: “People will often bring their pets in, smelling of smoke, and they are still not making the link with smoking.
“We don’t want people to feel guilty but it’s my hope that people seeing there pet when it’s unwell that they will hopefully look at their own smoking habits and it may encourage them to stop.”
There are at least half a million dogs in Scotland, and one in four will suffer from cancer.
Symptoms of lung cancer – which has a 50% survival rate in canines – include lethargy, weight loss, a chronic cough, lameness and difficulty breathing.
It is amongst the most expensive cancer treatment for dogs, and can cost owners up to £4,000 to treat.
Many vets are likely to suggest putting down dogs in these circumstances because of the enormous cost of treatment.
A tumour in a dog’s nose. A quarter of dogs get cancer but how many cases are caused by cigarette smoke?
The Glasgow study, carried out in conjunction with the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Petsavers Charity, and animal charity PDSA, is just the first step.
Prof Knottenbelt is planning research which aims precisely to measure the amount and type of carcinogens  inhaled by the pet dogs of smokers.
Researchers will attach a backpack device to the pets, provided by volunteer owners, which will monitor chemicals in the immediate environment.
She added: “I think the results of the preliminary study probably underestimates how affected dogs are by passive smoking.
“The backpack study will look at what is in the air around the dog. Nicotine is a marker, this will tell us how many nasty carcinogens the dogs are being exposed to.”
Libby Anderson, of animal charity OneKind, said: “OneKind welcomes the research by Glasgow as a significant step towards protecting animals and people from suffering a preventable disease.
“It also underlines the close and complex relationship between families and their pets – and if people give up smoking because they care about their pets, that’s a very good thing.”
Pets 'at risk' from home smoking
The professor is studying the level of nicotine in the fur of dogs
A leading professor of animal medicine is warning dog and cat owners about the risk of smoking around their pets.
Clare Knottenbelt, from the University of Glasgow's Small Animal Hospital, said there was mounting evidence of the effect of second-hand smoke on pets.
She will address a seminar held by NHS Ayrshire & Arran on Wednesday.
Prof Knottenbelt said studies had shown increased risk of lymphoma and oral cancer in cats and of lung, nasal and sinus cancer in dogs.
She said: "Currently I am writing a research paper looking at levels of nicotine in the fur of dogs which indicates they are as exposed to the same levels of nicotine as children in a household.
"This may be a useful way of indicating second-hand smoke exposure in a household in general.
"While veterinary medicine is advancing all the time and we have the ability to treat some cancers in pets, it is expensive and provides no guarantees of long-term survival.
"The best way of avoiding damage to your pet's health is to not smoke around them - or better still, to give up."
Stop Smoking – For Your Health and Your Pets’
You don’t need us to tell you the harm that smoking can do to your body, or the risks posed to children and others from secondhand smoke. But perhaps you’re unaware of the harm it can be doing to your pets. Because pets share our environments, they also share our environmental exposures – including tobacco smoke.
Dogs living in homes with smokers have significantly higher levels of cotinine (a breakdown product of nicotine) in their blood, indicating exposure to nicotine through secondhand smoke.  A 1998 study found that environmental exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in an increased risk of cancer of the nasal cavity and sinuses of dogs, particularly those with longer snouts (such as collies, greyhounds and many other popular breeds); and the more packs the smoker smoked, the higher the dog’s risk of cancer.  This is likely because their longer nasal passages accumulate the cancer-causing toxins. A 1992 study found that dogs with short- and medium-length noses were more than twice as likely to develop lung cancer if a smoker lived in the home, most likely because shorter-length nasal passages don’t accumulate the cancer-causing toxins, allowing them to enter the dog’s lungs instead.
Pet cats living in smoking households are more than twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma (a type of cancer) compared to cats in nonsmoking households. The risk increased with the duration and amount of exposure, and cats with five or more years of exposure to secondhand smoke were more than three times as likely to develop malignant lymphoma.
Have you ever had anyone tell you that your clothes smell like smoke? Well, it’s not the just the smell that can linger – it’s the potential toxins, too. If you smell smoke on your pet, consider the toxins that may be on your pet’s fur. Chances are, they’re ingesting them when they lick the toxins off during grooming. 
Birds’ respiratory systems are particularly susceptible to airborne contaminants. Significantly higher concentrations of cotinine were found in the blood of birds living in smoking households compared to birds living in nonsmoking households. Birds with exposure to secondhand smoke can develop pneumonia, lung cancer, and problems with their eyes, skin, heart and fertility.
Smoking outside the home reduces the concentration of environmental tobacco smoke in the house, but doesn’t eliminate it. A 2005 study found that environmental tobacco levels in homes of smokers who smoked outdoors were still five to seven times higher than in households of nonsmokers.
And it’s not just the secondhand smoke that poses a risk for your pets: discarded cigarette butts or other tobacco products left within reach of pets can cause gastrointestinal problems or even nicotine toxicity if your pet finds and eats them.
If you smoke, please consider quitting – if not for your health, then for your family’s health and your pets’ health. Looking for inspiration or resources to help you make the commitment to quit? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have great resources for you.
Kick the Habit, for You and Your Pets
Since 1977, the American Cancer Society has marked the third Thursday of November as the Great American Smokeout. Smokers are encouraged to go all day without lighting up, in the hopes that this will help them to quit for good. While this has obvious health benefits for the people who smoke, it also can improve the health of their pets. Dr. John Reif, professor at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, talks about the health risks of tobacco smoke to pets.
Pets and Secondhand Smoke
Sarah Billings sits by the window of her third story apartment hovered in a small corner of the room smoking a cigarette and thinking about Jack Daniels.
She is not a closet smoker or alcoholic, but a pet owner who cares deeply for Jack, her 5-year-old hound-dog mix. She has known Jack for his whole life, and is concerned about how her secondhand smoke may affect him.
"Dogs age almost seven times faster than us," Billings said, a psychology major. "Secondhand smoke can cause problems fast. I take Jack to the vet frequently and he appears to be fine, but they don't do any specific tests to see early signs of secondhand smoke poisoning."
Billings said she has smoked cigarettes around Jack for half of a year and worries about his sporadic wheezing, coughing and hyperventilating around cigarette smoke. "I am close with my dog," Billings said. "I would never forgive myself if I caused his early demise."
Billings, along with other pet owners, is slowly becoming aware of the effects of secondhand smoke on pets. Two studies were done at CSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital headed by John Reif, professor of epidemiology, and the department chairman for environmental and radiological health sciences, and associates that helped to bring awareness of secondhand smoke to the public.
In 1992 Reif conducted a study entitled, Passive Smoking and Canine Lung Cancer Risk. Reif also headed the second study of similar interests in 1998 titled, Cancer of the Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Pet Dogs. "These studies are really the first to make us aware of secondhand smoke on animals," Reif said. "They are the first of their kind."
There were several factors taken into consideration during the studies, such as number of smokers in the home, number of packs of cigarettes smoked in the home per day by the heaviest smoker, the time the dog spent inside the home, and the age, sex, body size and skull shape of the dog. "All these factors involved are important," Reif said. "All exposures are contributing factors."
According to the study, a dog that has exposure to a smoker in the home is 1.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a dog that is not exposed to a smoker.
The study found that skull shape had an effect on the estimated risk of lung cancer in dogs. Dogs with long noses (like German shepherds) have a higher risk for nasal cancer and dogs with short noses (like pugs) have a higher risk for lung cancer, Reif said. This is because, in theory, a dog with a long nose has an extra filtering system in its nose, so it is more likely to develop nasal cancers, Reif said.
"Both studies are important because they show exposure to secondhand smoke has an increased risk for cancer of respiratory system in dogs," Reif said. He said some of the warning signs of lung cancer in dogs include chronic coughing, weight loss and abnormal fatigue. Warning signs of nasal cancer include swelling over the nose or sinus area, sneezing and bloody nasal discharge, Reif said.
The only real prevention for these cancers is to not smoke around your pets, Reif said. "Obviously people are encouraged not to smoke," he said. "People who choose to smoke should do so away from pets -- outdoors."
Although the public is slowly becoming aware of the effects of secondhand smoke through studies like these, the concept is still unknown to many. Out of 20 random practicing veterinarians called in the Fort Collins and Loveland yellow pages, not one of them knew a lot about any studies done about the effects of secondhand smoke and pets. Also, none of these veterinarians are currently talking to their clients about secondhand smoke's potential negative effects.
This lack of awareness may not be so prevalent at the CSU campus this coming spring, however. The new approach to the subject of secondhand smoke affecting pets was an inspiration for a new campaign in the tobacco cessation program headed by Jerusha Hall with the assistance of Andrea Boone at the CSU Hartshorn Health Center.
"The whole campaign started because as a smoker I was looking for a different approach to tobacco education," Hall said, a senior animal science major. She said the approach to tobacco cessation has been seen in the same light for too long and finding a new twist might help to reach more people. Hall said she takes better care of her dogs then she does herself in some ways and knows she is not alone in this behavior.
"To me it was an approach that I hadn't seen before and maybe it is something that would connect for some other smokers," Hall said. " The process of cessation is so difficult and maybe just looking at things differently may help."
The major goal of the pets and health campaign, which starts later this spring, is for people on campus to gain some awareness on the tobacco issue, Hall said.
This project will include a poster campaign with resource numbers, Web sites and a tentatively scheduled dog day on campus which will include health checks for dogs, Frisbee and bandana giveaways, getting your dog's photo taken with Mr. Butts (a speaker on secondhand smoke and your pet) and a raffle for t-shirts.
This event is tentatively planned for April 23, with the posters coming out a week or two before the event.

The good news is that the Steelers didn't lose a game this weekend.  The bad news is that they aren't in the playoffs at all.  This summer's training camp seems a long way off but Steeler fans will have plenty to stew about until August.

Ohio State's basketball team went on the road to Illinois and lost the game. I'm still not real sure how this team is going to compare with those of the last few years.

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."--Charles Buxton, British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator
So...if you want time for something this's up to YOU to make it happen!

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

1 comment:

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