A dog that developed a “smoker’s cough” is now almost completely cured – after his owner gave up smoking to prevent his illness.

Rooney and owner
Rooney with his owner, Kathleen Dove.

Vets at PDSA Pet hospital Bow warned Kathleen Dove last summer her smoking was potentially contributing to a persistent cough suffered by her pet Jack Russell-terrier cross Rooney.

Harmful habit

The 68-year-old, who had smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day from the age of 15, immediately quit and said it has made a huge difference to Rooney’s health.

She said: “I took their advice on board and decided to quit straight away. I haven’t looked back since and I’m so glad I did it because the difference in Rooney is amazing. His cough is almost non-existent and he seems much better.”

Mrs Dove, who has owned 11-year-old Rooney since he was a pup, said she hasn’t noticed much difference to her own health since quitting and Rooney was the main reason for kicking the habit.

Butt out

PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones said: “Prolonged exposure to smoking can cause chronic breathing difficulties or cancer in pets as well as people.

“Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re spending more time with clients, like Kathleen, who smoke and encouraging them to think about their four-legged friend’s health, as well as their own, before they light up.

“If people feel they can’t stop smoking or don’t wish to, then we would urge them to consider going outside to smoke, then their pet isn’t forced to breathe in the harmful toxins.”

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