New evidence: pets share our environment and diseases

From the Toxic Use Reduction Institute Green e-list:

Source: Environmental Health News, September 25, 2012
Author: Lindsey Konkel

When Janet Riordan returned home from a vacation, she expected a storm of tail wagging and barking from her 7-year-old golden retriever, Reggie. The moment she saw him, she knew something was wrong. "He came to me in my arms and appeared to be sobbing. I had never seen an animal behave like that," said Riordan, who lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wis. A veterinarian confirmed her fears: Reggie had an aggressive form of lymphoma. Riordan knew the toll that lymphoma could take. Four years earlier her father died of it. "It was devastating," Riordan said. "I never thought I would lose my dad and my dog to the same disease." Pet owners share their homes, their exercise habits and sometimes even their food with their four-legged companions. And increasingly, they are sharing the same diseases: Dogs and cats suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, thyroid disorders and asthma, just like humans. Now researchers are examining the role that pollutants and other environmental factors may play in these dual diseases. Doctors and veterinarians have begun to work together to investigate common risk factors, such as pesticides, air pollutants, cigarette smoke and household chemicals. 

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Tags: and, chemicals, disease, humans, in, pesticides, pets

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