Dog Nicotine Toxicity
Dog Nicotine Toxicity
Tobacco and tobacco products contain a poisonous alkaloid that comes from the tobacco plant itself; not only tobacco products contain nicotine. It can also be found in insecticides, smoking cessation aids, such as patches, inhalers and even gum. Nicotine alone is a poisonous substance.
Its toxicity is not limited to humans and the many children requiring emergency services due to nicotine poisoning. Your dog is also susceptible to nicotine poisoning. The ash tray sitting on your table or the carelessly discarded patch in the trash can be lethal to your dog. Chewing tobacco with its assorted flavors can also be attractive to your dogs. They enjoy honey, sugars, molasses and some of the other supplemental flavors found in designer chewing tobacco.
A toxic level of nicotine in your dog is five milligrams/pound of body weight. This is potentially a lethal dose.
Products with Nicotine
1. Each and every cigarette will contain varying amounts of nicotine depending on the brand. One cigarette has a potential level of fifteen to twenty five milligrams.
2. Popular nicotine gums contain two to four milligrams in each piece.
3. Patches will contain between 8 and 114 milligrams in each patch.
4. Nicotine sprays have between 80 and 100 mg. per bottle and .5mg per spray.
5. Cigars contain between 15 and 40 mg of nicotine.
6. A mere cigarette butt can have between 4 and 8 mg.
What these numbers tell you is that two to four cigarettes can present toxic signs in a ten pound dog.
Symptoms of Nicotine Toxicity
Depending on the amount of nicotine your dog has ingested, symptoms may appear mild or severe. Most dogs will have Dog Vomiting after eating a nicotine product. The symptoms of nicotine toxicity will usually occur within an hour of eating the product.
1. Generalized weakness
2. Visible tremors
3. Either hyperactivity or in the case of a high dose, Dog Lethargy.
4. Dilated pupils
5. Dog Diarrhea and vomiting can occur.
6. Collapse is possible if the dose is high enough.
7. Your dog can become clumsy and start stumbling.
8. Changes in the heartbeat. This can be either an increase in rate or a decrease in rate.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your veterinarian may wish to conduct some testing. This will not be necessary if you witnessed the dog eating the nicotine product. Even with treatment, if the dose is extremely high, your dog may not survive.
1. Vomiting may be induced to lessen the amount of nicotine present in the stomach. This will occur only if your dog is alert.
2. If your dog merely touched your patch or other nicotine product, they will need an immediate bath with a mild soap or detergent.
3. If you dog is not alert, your veterinarian my pump the stomach.
4. Activated charcoal will be administered which will reduce absorption.
5. If the dog is severely compromised, it may be necessary to begin intravenous fluids.
Keep all nicotine products out of the reach of your dog. This includes anything that you use such as gum, cigarettes, etc.
If you witness your dog ingesting nicotine, call your vet or poison control center to get instructions on how to induce vomiting at home. If symptoms occur, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.