Thursday 4 January 2024

Dogs have a sixfold increase in risk of bladder cancer through passive smoking

Purdue University has an interesting article on how cigarette smoke inside the home results in a sixfold increase in the chance of a dog developing specifically bladder cancer. The study worked with Scottish terriers in this test and they say that this particular breed develops bladder cancer at a rate 20 times higher than that of other dog breeds anyway. And when they develop bladder cancer it's a particularly aggressive type. It's due to their genetic make up. It's makes them predisposed to developing bladder cancer.

Scottish terrier 6 times more likely to get bladder cancer through passive smoking
Scottish terrier 6 times more likely to get bladder cancer through passive smoking. Image: MikeB

And the reason why second-hand cigarette smoke dramatically increases the chances of dogs developing bladder cancer is because the body takes up the chemicals in the cigarette smoke and eliminates them through the urine which leads to cancer of the urinary tract and the bladder is part of the urinary tract.

There has to be a caveat or a warning about the results which they admit in the report namely that not all dogs who were around smokers got cancer and some dogs who are not around cigarette smoke still got cancer. So this is not a hard and fast test but it should be unsurprising to readers that second-hand cigarette smoke can give companion animals cancer just as it does to humans. That's why there are laws now firmly in place and have been for a long time that people can't smoke inside buildings.

This Purdue University cancer test is not earthshattering. It simply reminds us that if you are a smoker and have a dog, you should stop smoking.. Never again. Just stop it. Or if you can't do that then go outside to smoke and then return to protect your dog. And of course the same goes for domestic cats by the way. That's common sense too.

They chose the Scottish terrier because as mentioned they are genetically predisposed to getting cancer and therefore this test is going to be more effective. If second-hand smoke does cause cancer in dogs then the Scottish terrier will throw up a result and expose the problem. Although the use of Scottish terriers begs the question as to whether other dog breeds would develop passive smoking bladder cancer to the same degree.

P.S. Going to a party where there's lots of cigarette smoke in the air and coming back to your home to greet your dog at which point your dog jumps up onto your lap is also going to expose your dog to the possibility of developing cancer through cigarette smoke toxins because those toxins are deposited on your clothes and then transferred to your dog's coat.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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