25 Aug E-cigarettes And Your Dog
Did you know that nicotine poisoning can be life-threatening for our pets? Calls to the Animal Poisons Helpline regarding pets that have ingested nicotine are common. Nicotine is not only found in cigarettes and cigarette butts, but also in chewing tobacco, cigars, electronic cigarettes (and their refills), as well as nicotine replacement therapies such as gums, lozenges, patches, sprays, and inhalers.
With the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes (AKA e-cigarettes), severe or life-threatening poisoning from the ingestion of even small amounts of highly concentrated nicotine solutions is a real possibility. Many of these vape solutions are also flavoured, making them more attractive and palatable for our pets.
Signs of nicotine poisoning can occur very rapidly after exposure, and may include vomiting, excitement, tremor, and seizures. With large exposures animals may become weak, and death is possible due to respiratory (breathing) muscle paralysis. Some nicotine containing products, such as gums, may contain xylitol as a sweetener which is also highly toxic to dogs. Birds are particularly sensitive to nicotine, with reports of death from the ingestion of cigarette butts that have been left out in ashtrays. Whilst there is no specific antidote for nicotine poisoning, early veterinary treatment can be, and often is, lifesaving.
☎ If you have any nicotine containing products in your house, please always store them responsibly and well out of the reach of pets. If your pet has been exposed to any nicotine containing product, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) immediately for advice.
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