886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Secondhand Smoke Can Have a Devastating Effect on Pets

Whether you smoke or not, you’re probably aware of all the health risks it poses. Some of these include increased risk of lung cancer, heart attack, asthma, and other types of cancers. What many people don’t stop to consider is that secondhand smoke can affect pets even more severely than it does humans. With their smaller body size and lung capacity, dogs and cats can’t process the smoke they inhale as efficiently as people do. 
With the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout coming up on November 16, now is a great time to educate others about secondhand smoke or to kick the habit yourself. According to the American Cancer Society, 40 million people in this country smoke. Sadly, that number isn’t limited to adults. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to quit for just one day to prove to themselves they can to it. This is the first step towards a smoke-free future.
The Effect of Cigarette Smoke on Cats and Dogs
Cats who live in a home with at least one smoker are three times more likely to develop lymphoma, a cancer that originates in the body’s lymphatic system. Squamous cell carcinoma is another common cancer in cats exposed to secondhand smoke. Since cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, they’re licking the carcinogens that settle into their fur. Cats exposed to secondhand smoke also have a greater likelihood of developing oral cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dogs in smoking homes have a high cancer risk as well. Those with short noses have an increased risk of developing lung cancer while dogs with longer noses are more likely to develop nasal cancer. Living with passive smoke is also a leading cause of bronchitis in dogs. They’re also more likely to attempt to ingest cigarette butts from an ashtray. This can have a highly toxic effect. Please contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic right away if you suspect your dog swallowed a cigarette butt and you notice any of these symptoms:
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
Make a Smoke-Free Home Part of Your Pet’s Wellness Plan
We know you love your pet and want her to have a long, happy, and healthy life. One way to achieve this is to allow her to live in a smoke-free home. If you’re struggling trying to quit smoking, click here for resources from the Centers for Disease Control. Another way to ensure your pet’s well-being is to bring her in for regular preventive care exams at one of our clinics. Not only do you receive guidance on behavior, nutrition, sleep, and other important issues, our staff can diagnose and treat health problems that would otherwise have gone undetected. 
Here’s to a healthy, smoke-free future for you and your pets!
Photo Credit: Barski / Getty Images

Don't Forget About Pet Safety This Halloween

preview full Pet Safety This Halloween
You and your children know that Halloween is just a fun holiday to dress up in costumes and get a lot of treats. However, your pets have no way of understanding this. To them, Halloween can be stressful and confusing. There’s a steady stream of people at the front door, but they don’t look like people at all. Even before October 31 arrives, your dog or cat is sure to notice the treats and decorations that he’s not supposed to touch. The good news is that you can take several actions to reduce your pet’s anxiety and increase his safety on this holiday.
Secure Your Pet at Home
Many people like to take their dog with them everywhere they go, but Halloween night is one time when your dog should stay home. Taking her along while trick-or-treating could cause behavior issues that you didn’t expect because she doesn’t know what to make of everything. The last thing you want is for your dog to attack a child or to run away from you in fear.
On Halloween night, we recommend preparing a quiet, comfortable room in your home for your pet that’s far away from the front door. That way, your dog won’t bark with every knock at the door and your cat won’t run and hide. 
Keeping your pet safe at home also protects him from people who steal animals or play pranks on Halloween night. This is especially common with black cats. In fact, animal shelters put a temporary ban on adoption of black cats on and around Halloween for this reason. It’s always a good idea to make sure your pet has microchip identification in case he does slip out the door.
Don’t Give Animals Treats Meant for Humans
It’s hard to resist those sad eyes looking up at you or hear the whine of a pet who wants to share your treat. Your dog or cat doesn’t understand that artificial sweetener, chocolate, and other common ingredients in Halloween candy can make her seriously ill. Typical symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and low energy. Seizures and breathing difficulty are some of the more serious effects of consuming candy. If you really want to share a treat with your pet, consider ordering from our online store. This ensures that your pet receives a safe treat made just for his species.
Decorations Can Create a Choking or Fire Hazard
Placing a lit candle in a pumpkin where a pet can get at it is never a good idea. It only takes an enthusiastic tail wag from a dog to knock it over or a cat sniffing at it to burn her face. If you want to light a jack-o-lantern, be sure to use a non-flammable light source instead. Additionally, keep all decorations out of your pet’s reach. His curiosity could cause him to chew and possibly choke on them.
Should Your Pet Wear a Halloween Costume?
Few things are as adorable as children and pets in Halloween costumes. If you do choose to buy or make a costume for your pet, it shouldn’t cover his mouth, nose, or eyes. He should also be able to move freely while wearing it. For safety’s sake, plan to supervise your pet whenever he wears the costume.
Help in an Emergency
Sometimes a dog or cat’s curiosity may get the better of her no matter what you do. If you have an emergency this Halloween season, call Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474 during regular business hours. After hours, please call  Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service at 763-754-5000. You can also reach the Pet Poison Helpline 24 hours a day at 855-764-7661. The agency charges $59 per incident.

Photo Credit: Cynoclub / Getty Images