Orchard Vet's Blog

Is smoking killing your pet?


Research from the University of Glasgow has revealed that family pets are at greater risk from the effects of passive smoking than humans.

Animals inhale more smoke because their grooming routines mean they digest nicotine when licking their fur. Consequently dogs are at risk of developing cancer of the nasal cavity, sinuses and lungs, cats have more than double the risk of developing lymphoma, while smaller pets such as birds, rabbits and guinea pigs can face respiratory and skin diseases. Smoke exposure also aggravates bronchitis and asthma in animals suffering with those conditions.

The study also showed that choosing to smoke outside did not eradicate the effect on pets, although it was reduced.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and The Royal College of Nursing are launching a campaign aimed at informing pet owners about the damage that can be done. Wendy Preston, the RCN's Head of Nursing writes, 'many people would be horrified to discover their second-hand smoke was harming their pet, and in some cases seriously shortening the animal's life. We want to make it easier for vets and vet nurses to have that conversation with patients.'

You can read the press release from the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists here.

The study was conducted in 2015 by researchers at the University's purpose-built small animal hospital. §