Smoking 'leading cause of cancer' for man's best friend | Inquirer News

Smoking ‘leading cause of cancer’ for man’s best friend

/ 08:56 AM July 14, 2015


Smoking has been named the leading cause of cancer for dogs, according to research presented by Liu Chen-hsuan, a professor at the National Taiwan University School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Taipei City Animal Protection Office.

Tan Ta-lun, executive committee member of the Taipei Veterinary Medical Association, reminds dog owners to avoid exposing their furry friends to hazardous substances, to smoke less and improve their pet’s diet to help create a cancer-free environment for their pets.


As the hazardous substances released into the air from lit cigarettes are heavier than air, which in turn could raise the likelihood of pets getting cancer, Tang said.


He recalled a case of a dog diagnosed with lung cancer, and found out that its owner was a heavy smoker.
Tang believes a longer life-span and having an owner leading an unhealthy lifestyle were causes that led to the pet coming down with cancer.

On the other hand, clinical observations revealed that stray pets are also at high risk due to prolonged exposure from exhaust emissions from vehicles.

Cancer leads top 10 dog death causes

Liu’s research also revealed the top 10 causes of death among dogs, with cancer at number one, followed by cardiovascular disease, renal failure, nervous system disease, trauma, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, death by natural causes, respiratory disease and liver disease.

Surgery is the most common treatment when a pet is found with cancer, following up with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Yet, Taiwan currently lacks radiotherapy as a choice for pet owners, as radiotherapy equipment is more expensive.

Pet owners can briefly rejoice, however, as there are anti-cancer drugs for the furry critters. Tang remained ambivalent about the drugs’ supposed treatment effects, saying that only a prolonged period of use of the medication would reveal its efficacy.

To create a cancer-free environment for pets, Tang suggested that pet owners can include more foods with anti-oxidants, such as deep-colored vegetables, into their furry critters’ diet, while avoiding contact with carcinogens, chemical drugs and mycotoxin and toxins produced by certain fungi.

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TAGS: Cancer, Dogs, pets, Smoking, Taipei, Taiwan

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