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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Is Secondhand Smoke Killing Your Cat?

Recent studies confirm Dr. Sullivan’s assertion, warning that secondhand smoke may lead to deadly diseases in your cat. So if personal health risks haven’t compelled you and your houseguests to quit smoking yet, there is a new incentive: the well-being of your cat.

Consider the Dangers
The health risks associated with inhaling secondhand smoke have proved to be just as worrisome for cats as they are for people. But unlike you, your cat doesn’t have the choice to escape the environment to get fresher air, says Shera Dickie, DVM, of St. Julian’s Cat Care, in Dearborn, Mich. What’s more, pollutants from the smoky air collect on your pet’s coat. Since cats are meticulous groomers, they can easily ingest these harmful substances as they lick their fur.

According to a Swedish study cited by Dr. Dickie, “six out of seven cats that lived in a smoking home had pathological changes in their lungs.” These changes foretold the emergence of cancer for the majority of the cats. Here are a few other diseases your cat runs the risk of developing if regularly exposed to secondhand smoke:

Malignant Lymphoma
This aggressive type of cancer occurs in the lymph nodes and can be fatal. In fact, “Three out of four cats with this disease are dead within a year of diagnosis,” says Dr. Dickie. Cats living with smokers are twice as likely to get this disease, and the risk elevates with increased exposure.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of cancer plagues a cat’s mouth. A study conducted at Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine found there is a higher incidence of this illness among cats living with smokers for more than five years.

Nicotine Poisoning
Feline explorers drawn to unknown objects, like a forgotten cigarette butt, are especially threatened by nicotine poisoning. The affliction occurs when a cat ingests tobacco. Cigarette butts contain much harmful nicotine – about 25 percent of the nicotine of a whole cigarette – so even a small cigarette butt can lead to the death of a cat.

Asthma
Cats exposed to secondhand smoke are not only more susceptible to asthma, but they also “tend to heal slower from respiratory diseases, such as viral infections and pneumonia,” notes Dr. Sullivan. Increased coughing and breathing difficulty is a possible sign that your kitty suffers around secondhand smoke.

What Can You Do Now?
Proactive, responsible owners have many options to protect their cat from secondhand smoke. But how do you do that if you can’t quit smoking so easily? Here are

Designate Smoke-Free Areas
Consider smoking outside, or smoke only in rooms that pets are not allowed in. The less the exposure, the greater the chances your cat will stay healthy.

Use Air Filters
Air filters may help clean the environment, removing harmful chemicals in the air that could block your kitty’s respiratory passage.

Clean Your Pet And Your House
Regular baths, or at the very least wipe-downs with a damp cloth, can help remove smoke residue from cat fur, says Dr. Dickie. Vacuum and keep all cigarette butts, tobacco products and even nicotine patches out of sight to prevent accidental illness, poisoning or even death.

Look For Symptoms
Excessive drooling or difficulty eating are symptoms of oral cancer, while labored breathing is a sign of lung cancer. Observe your cat frequently, since catching diseases early on always helps with treatment. If something is out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The best solution of all? Quitting if you’re a smoker – and encouraging cigarette-carrying visitors to do the same. In the words of Dr. Dickie: “Why expose your beloved furry friend to a potentially preventable disease?”

by Natalia Macrynikola

Source:  Pet People’s Place

(These same dangers apply for any and all animals and pets, especally indoor or house pets that are regularly exposed!)

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Treats For Your Dog…

Hearts Now that you’ve celebrated… Do something extra nice for your dog(s) for Valentine’s Day:
  • take your dog out for a good walk;
  • play ball with your dog in the yard;
  • give your dog a good brushing;
  • give your dog an extra dog treat;
  • pet your dog longer than usual;
  • let your dog into the house more today; or let them do something special;
  • snuggle with your dog when you’re watching TV; 
  • Set things up for your dog’s future in the event something happens to you
Two dogs out for a walk in the snow.

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tackling Ticks

Ticks aren’t just annoying little bugs. They can infect your dog with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne diseases. 

So if your pooch loves the great outdoors — particularly if she wanders into wooded areas — make sure to check her coat thoroughly and often, especially around the ears and neck. If you spot the bloodsuckers, remove them as soon as possible!

A tick that has burrowed into your dog’s skin may be tricky to take out. Here’s how to do it:

1. Slip on a pair of gloves to avoid direct contact with the tick.
2. Use tweezers to grasp the tick by its head at the point where it’s attached to your pet’s body.
3. Gently pull the tick away from the skin, but do not twist. Make sure you remove the entire tick — anything left under the skin can cause an infection.
4. Clean the bite area with antiseptic, and wipe your tweezers with rubbing alcohol. You can kill the tick by placing it in a glass jar that contains at least several inches of the alcohol.

Contact your vet if the skin around the tick bite remains irritated. And to protect your pet during tick season (generally April through September), use a tick-preventive product that your vet recommends.

Source:  Dog Age

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cocoa Mulch Can Kill Your Dog… and Possibly Your Cat

Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly. Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company’s website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey’s, and they claim that ‘It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.’ This Snopes site gives the following information:

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘ Theobromine’. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of th eobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

PLEASE GIVE THIS THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION!!!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment