Spike Says: Second Hand Smoke Kills Us Too

26 02 2009

For years, humans have known that smoking is bad for them.  They have known that secondhand smoke is bad for humans that do not smoke.  This also applies to your four-legged friends.  In fact, they can be more at risk for cancers due to secondhand smoke than humans exposed to the same risk.  In fact, it is a “triple threat” for canines and felines that live in a smoker’s home.

The significant health threat secondhand smoke poses to pets is through oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, as well as lung cancer in birds.  There is also a strong correlation between secondhand smoke and certain forms of cancer in cats. There are higher incidents of mouth cancer in cats living with smokers over cats living in a non-smoker’s home. Dogs living in a home with secondhand smoke have a higher risk of nasal tumors. This increase was specifically found among long nosed breeds (like me, Golden Retrievers).  Dogs with medium or short noses did not escape, as they showed higher rates for lung cancer!  Typically, dogs affected with nasal cancer do not survive more than one year.

Be aware that animals may also pick up discarded butts off the ground and ingest them. This creates a problem with nicotine poisoning, which can be fatal.

Smoking is also a very costly habit.  Do you know how many homeless animals could be fed in one year if just one person quit and gave their savings to a shelter or a rescue?


Trying To Find The Inner Alpha

22 02 2009

rottweiler-shepherd-mixLast September, a reader adopted what they think is a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix puppy from a rescue at approximately eight weeks of age.  Throughout most of her puppyhood, she had a very timid personality, and she was always extra cautious of people and inanimate objects, but she was always very playful with and intrigued by other dogs.  Now, the family is starting to notice some behavior at 1 ½ years old that is disturbing to them. Read the rest of this entry »

New Puppy Problems

21 01 2009

golden-lab-puppyOver the holidays, many families across America became new and loving homes for puppies.  A friend of November 2008’s addition to my pack was one fo those lucky puppies.  As with all new relationships, there is a period of adjustment, and this post addresses some of the “new puppy issues.”  Specifically, we are going to discuss this Golden Labrador Retriever, but many of the puppy issues pop up regardless of breed.

All of the retriever breeds are born being comfortable with having or carrying something in their mouths.  I am no exception, as I often wander the house with my toy du jour.  We are also notorious chewers, especially as puppies.  Sometimes I spend a whole day just wanting to walk around with something in our mouth. Read the rest of this entry »