We’ve already talked about the fact that the two main causes of passive smoke diseases in dogs and cats are related to both inhalation of smoke and also direct contact with residuals that can deposit on their fur.
While the first modality of contact is common in dogs and cats, the second is more dangerous for felines because of their well-known habit of frequent grooming.
First of all, they double their risk of cancer, but also inflammatory or allergic forms are frequent.
Due to the diversity of species, the neoplasms caused by passive smoke can have different forms in dogs and cats. In dogs, tumours of the respiratory tract are more frequent, and can have different characteristics according to the dog’s muzzle: in those with a long muzzle, tumours of the nasal cavity are more frequent, whilst those with a short muzzle are more subject to lung cancer. On the other hand, with cats, due to their habit of frequent grooming, neoplastic forms of the oral mucosa as well as lymphomatous forms are more common. If we want to make a further comparison between the two species, we can say that cats have less predisposition to develop tumours than dogs. However, with felines, 80% of tumours are malignant and incurable.
When discussing inflammatory forms, we can blame passive smoke for simple irritation or inflammation of the upper respiratory airways, even in its more serious forms such as asthma ( especially in cats), chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. But that's not all.
Recent studies carried out by dermatologists at the Veterinary School of Paris, have shown a link between passive smoke and canine atopic dermatitis.
This study lasted 6 months and tested 161 cases.
The animals underwent a dermatological examination whilst their owners completed a questionnaire aimed at estimating the quantity and duration of the animal’s exposure to cigarette smoke. From all the information gathered, the link between atopic dermatitis and exposure to very high concentrations of tobacco smoke clearly emerges. In other words, in those subjects who are predisposed, passive smoke has a very important role in the alteration of their cutaneous immunity equilibrium, thus contributing to exceeding the threshold beyond which the subject will show signs of pruriginous symptoms by his scratching.
The above leaves no doubt: great damage is caused by passive smoke which is potentially very serious for our four-legged animals.
The obvious solution to avoid all of this is simple: stop smoking to protect their and our health.