Cigarette Smoke Allergies in Dogs

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(Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mikul)

According to the ASPCA, cigarette smoke is one of the most common allergies in canines. Chronic exposure to second hand smoke can cause not only an allergic reaction in your dog, but also sinus and lung cancer, as well as bronchitis. While some breeds are more susceptible to developing an allergy to cigarette smoke, all dogs are at risk.

Second hand smoke

Just as it affects people, second hand smoke effects dogs. Dogs who inhale smoke produced by their owners are highly likely to develop a severe allergy to it. Long-nosed breeds, such as greyhounds, are the most likely to develop allergies and other complications as the result of second hand smoke, although all breeds are at risk.

Symptoms

If your dog has an allergy to cigarette smoke, there are several signs he will exhibit. Coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing are all symptoms of a second hand smoke allergy. In breeds with far set eyes, such as chihuahuas and pugs, you may notice excessive eye watering as well.

Treatment

The most obvious treatment for smoke allergies in dogs is to stop smoking around them. If symptoms persist after you have stopped smoking around them, consult a veterinarian. Since smoke is an airborne allergen, your dog could need daily allergy injections, an immune-modulating drug, or cortisone to treat the allergy.

Risks

In addition to allergies and difficulty breathing, second hand smoke can cause sinus, lung, and oral cancer in your loyal friend. Smoke particles in dog fur and on household fabrics can be inhaled or ingested by your dog when he grooms himself. According to Smoke Free Society, dogs who live in smoking households are 60 percent more likely to develop lung cancer in their lifetimes.

Prevention/Solution

Even if your dog is not currently showing symptoms of a smoke allergy, it is important not to smoke around them. Avoid smoking inside your home and resist smoking within close proximity to your dog while outside. Do not allow guests or other household members to smoke around your dog. These small adjustments can potentially save your dog's life.

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