‘Passive smoking may cause cancer in pets’

Experts have drawn attention to the escalating incidence of cancer among pets and animals, pointing to second-hand smoke as an important factor.

Professor Dr. Sevilay Atalay Vural, a faculty member at Ankara University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, emphasized that cancer affects not only humans but also animals, highlighting its prevalence and urging owners to remain vigilant for early signs of the disease.

Additionally, Vural noted various other environmental and physical factors contributing to cancer development in animals, including environmental pollution, genetic predispositions and effects of prolonged harness use in some animals.

She noted that skin tumors were particularly common, especially among white-skinned animals exposed to ultraviolet rays.

Vural also discussed the responsibility of pet owners in detecting early signs of cancer in their animals, emphasizing changes in behavior, appetite, and physical appearance.

"When we pet them, we should not use our hands in vain. A protrusion, swelling and hardness should create an awareness for pet owners," she advised.

"When conscious pet owners notice a change in mucous membrane color when doing oral care, the decrease in the amount of food eaten, the reluctance to play, the deterioration of breathing, or the slightest limp, they should ask for support from their veterinarians."

Vural stressed the importance of seeking veterinary care promptly in the case of an unusual occurrence, as early intervention can prolong the lives of our affected furry friends by one-two years.

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