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Passive smoking 'risks pets' lives'


Monday March 19th 2012

Passive smoking is risking pets' lives with the animals exposed to it being twice as likely to develop certain forms of cancer than those in non-smoking homes, a major charity has said.

The claim came from veterinary charity the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), whose senior vet said cigarette smoke falls so animals and children breathe in proportionately more than adults as they are nearer the floor.

But smoke can also come to rest on fur and pets ingest the toxins when grooming themselves so they can be more open to higher levels of the harmful chemicals, said Elaine Pendlebury from the PDSA.

Nose and lung cancers are much more likely to affect dogs exposed to smoke, and cats in the home of a smoker are more than twice as likely to develop the type of cancer called feline malignant lymphoma. The cats can die within a year of being diagnosed.

Ms Pendlebury said smokers who quit could help improve the quality of life of their pets and perhaps extend their life expectancy as well.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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