Scotland

Pets 'at risk' from home smoking

dog in arms
Image caption The professor is studying the level of nicotine in the fur of dogs

A leading professor of animal medicine is warning dog and cat owners about the risk of smoking around their pets.

Clare Knottenbelt, from the University of Glasgow's Small Animal Hospital, said there was mounting evidence of the effect of second-hand smoke on pets.

She will address a seminar held by NHS Ayrshire & Arran on Wednesday.

Prof Knottenbelt said studies had shown increased risk of lymphoma and oral cancer in cats and of lung, nasal and sinus cancer in dogs.

She said: "Currently I am writing a research paper looking at levels of nicotine in the fur of dogs which indicates they are as exposed to the same levels of nicotine as children in a household.

"This may be a useful way of indicating second-hand smoke exposure in a household in general.

"While veterinary medicine is advancing all the time and we have the ability to treat some cancers in pets, it is expensive and provides no guarantees of long-term survival.

"The best way of avoiding damage to your pet's health is to not smoke around them - or better still, to give up."

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