Porky and Buddy discuss smoking around pets

Dear Porky & Buddy, 

OK, I’ll admit it.  I’m a smoker — not a lot, but maybe half a pack per day, and mostly outdoors.

My best friend has been nagging me for years and years to quit, but I just really like to smoke and I figure, it’s just affecting my health — which is good.

But now she is trying a new tack by making me feel guilty about the effects of smoking on my cats. Oh good, I’m thinking, something else to feel guilty about. Just what I need. But on the other hand, is she right?

 Diane

Dear Diane,

Funny you should ask.

Not funny ha ha, but it just so happens that the ASPCA just reported on research by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine which establishes that secondhand smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer in dogs, malignant lymphoma in cats and allergy and respiratory problems in both animals.

We try not to play the guilt card if we can help it, but, in fact, cats are particularly susceptible to tobacco smoke — the research found that repeated exposure to secondhand smoke doubled a cat’s chances of getting cancer, and living with a smoker for more than five years increased the risk four times.

Lymphoma is one of the leading causes of feline death.

No one knows how many pets get sick because of  the effects of secondhand smoke. The national Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 42 million adults in the United States still smoke — which means lots of pets are at risk.

Going back to the guilt trip, you need to be on the lookout for the symptoms of cancer, which include coughing, trouble eating or breathing, drooling, weight loss, vomiting, nasal discharge, bleeding and sneezing.

Seems like a pretty good reason to give up that nasty habit, don’t you think? Or at the very least only outdoors, huddled up somewhere in the rain and cold.

Your cats will be ever so grateful.

It’s the Dog Days of Summer so why not have an art show? As a matter of fact, Zink Shirts will host a benefit art show for the Oswego County Humane Society beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday Aug. 2.

This is a dog friendly event and dogs are encouraged to attend. (Just be prepared to clean up after your dog).

This show will feature portraits of dogs and other dog-inspired artwork. The artwork will be sold using a silent auction and all proceeds will go to benefit the Humane Society.

The final deadline to bring artwork to ZINK is July 30. Zink is located at 19 E. Cayuga St., Oswego.

For more information contact Aaron.Lee@gmail.com, or call Zink shirts at 342-9465.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

The office is at 265 W. First St., Oswego. Phone is 207-1070. Email is ochscontact@hotmail.com. Website is www.oswegohumane.org.

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