Here is a little tidbit of information that your veterinarian knows about you – we know if you are a smoker! Simply by snuggling up to Spot we can deduce that he lives in a household where someone is polluting his lungs with cancer promoting tar and chemicals from the smell of his fur. Smoke clings to his coat like it does to the inside of his lungs, and holds on until it can wear off or is washed off by the pet licking and grooming himself, and ingesting the toxins into his system. 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 second-hand smoke.

Besides being a little off-putting, the smell warns us to be aware of possible diseases that are linked to second-hand smoke. Asthma, reverse sneezing, lung cancer, upper respiratory infections, rhinitis, and nasal tumors in dogs, as well as lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma in cats are found at much higher rates in pets that live with smokers.

Scientists have measured 1 to 11.3 mg of nicotine in pets’ coats who live with smokers; the upper end of that range is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

Even if you smoke outside, the level of nicotine in your home is still five to seven times higher than in non-smoking homes.

Please understand that we care about the health of your pet AND your health, too! If you have been looking for a reason to quit smoking, just look into your beloved pet’s eyes and promise not to shorten his life with secondhand smoke, and throw the cigarettes away for good. We hope it will keep you in our family of clients and friends longer, too!