Smoking affects pets, too

Neuticles earrings

Q: I’m attending group classes to help me stop smoking. We all know that second-hand smoke is harmful to our health. The instructor insists that it also is very unhealthy for pets. Is this true?
A:
Your instructor is right on this one. Second-hand smoke is unhealthy and harmful to any person or animal it reaches. Studies show that secondhand smoke kills thousands of nonsmokers every year, causing myriad of illnesses. And even though the number of affected pets isn’t clear, we do have strong indications of what smoke can do them. For example, cats exposed to cigarette smoke show higher than normal rates of mouth cancer and lymphoma (cats pick up smoke particles from their fur as they lick to groom themselves). Dogs tend to develop a higher risk for nasal tumors. And birds are more susceptible to lung cancer (reminds me of the old phrase, “canary in a coal mine”).
So if a smoker needs a little more urging, remind him or her that their house cat and favorite pooch do suffer from all that smoke, too. And the best thing anyone can do is to quit.
Q:
We want to have our dog, Freddie, neutered. How long will he be in pain after surgery and how long before he can run and play again? My brother says it will change his personality. Is that true?
A:
Typically, male dogs recover very fast after surgery. Freddie’s veterinarian will offer you some medication to control any pain afterwards, but most dogs don’t usually need these post-op drugs for long. They recover very quickly and feel good enough to go for walks the first day home. It’s important to prevent him from running and jumping for about 10 days so that his suture line can heal. And for many dog owners, that’s the most difficult part. Young dogs just don’t like to sit around quietly; they want to get out and run! Oh, and you tell your brother that Freddie’s personality won’t be any different. He’ll be the same old Freddie afterwards.
Some dog owners are concerned about the change in their pooch’s appearance. So let’s talk for a moment about a little-known product that has been around for many years. Have you ever heard of Neuticles? Their producer calls them the “revolutionary” and patented testicular implant for neutered pets. That’s right. Neuticles allow your pet to “retain his natural look and self-esteem, and aid in the trauma associated with altering.” According to the company’s website, “over 425,000 caring pet owners worldwide have selected Neuticles as a safe, practical and inexpensive option when neutering their beloved pet.” The company also claims that its product helps control overpopulation by encouraging “mega-thousands of caring pet owners to neuter that simply would not before.”
Actually, Neuticles have been around since the 1980s. I’ve had two dog owners request that I implant them (a simple procedure) when I neutered their male pooch. I really doubt that these implants helped the self-esteem of either of these dogs. But one owner finally decided to have his dog neutered after he found out his pooch could retain his normal appearance. Yeah, it may seem a little strange to some of you. Male dogs don’t really care what they look like “down there,” right? But that’s what it took to get that guy’s male dog into surgery, so I didn’t argue!
One side note, and you’ll love this. The company website has a merchandise section where you can purchase anything from shirts and jerseys to a beach towel or sun visor. Each has the company tagline printed on it: “It’s like nothing ever changed.” But if you really want to impress your lady friend, you could surprise her with Neuticle earrings. C’mon, now guys. Valentines Day is right around the corner!

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