vets information from Samantha Coe vetbase.co.uk
vets and pets info from vetbase.co.uk vets-info-vetbase
pets small animal vets info vetbase
vets and pets healthcare informationHome | About | Privacy and Terms | Email
fleas vetask ebook mini-ad

Nicotine in cigarettes and cigars can be dangerous for pets

Nicotine is found in a number of products including cigarettes, cigars, snuff and tobacco. Obviously, it is also present in those products intended to help smokers give up their habit, such as nicotine patches and gum. All of these products are potentially hazardous for pets, however nicotine toxicity is rare in dogs and cats.

Animals generally find nicotine type products such as cigarettes unpalatable. This means they are unlikely to eat them when they come across them. If they do consume cigarettes or similar material they are quite likely to vomit soon afterwards which helps to limit the amount of nicotine which is absorbed in the stomach. (The acidity of the stomach also means that nicotine is only slowly absorbed here; however absorption is faster in the rest of the gut). These factors all help to decrease the risk of a serious problem developing should an animal eat products containing nicotine.

Perhaps young puppies are more at risk of nicotine poisoning than other animals due to their habit of chewing all sorts of things they should not, and because their relatively small size means a single cigarette could prove to be a serious problem. However if you believe that your pet has ingested material which may contain nicotine you should always contact your vet urgently since there is a risk of a serious problem developing whatever the age or size of the animal.

Signs of nicotine poisoning in pets includes excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, excitement, tremors, weakness, twitching, and convulsions. Cardiac and respiratory problems may subsequently develop; these may be life-threatening. The severity of signs depends upon how much nicotine has been consumed.

Often the diagnosis is made easy because animals have been seen eating these products or will vomit cigarette packets and other packaging along with chewed up cigarettes etc. The vomit may also have the characteristic smell of tobacco.

Treatment includes inducing the animal to vomit and then giving activated charcoal which helps to absorb toxins in the gut. I/V fluids may also help by speeding up the elimination of nicotine via the kidneys. The animal should be closely monitored and specific treatment for seizures, cardiac and respiratory problems may also be required if such signs develop.

The prognosis for any animal which has consumed a large amount of material containing nicotine is poor and the first four hours or so tend to be the most critical. It is possible for animals to make a full recovery following this type of poisoning but often aggressive supportive therapy is needed if there is to be a positive outcome.

As with all potentially toxic material it is always better to ensure that animals do not have access to it in the first place. So keep your cigarettes, cigars and nicotine gum, etc well out of the way of your pets.

vets and pets info from vetbase.co.uk
Sam's Blog
vets and pets info
Cats
vets and pets info
Dogs
vets and pets info
Food Animals
vets and pets info
Hamsters
vets and pets info
Rabbits
vets and pets info
Rats
vets and pets info
Recommended Books
vets and pets info
Complementary Therapies
vets and pets info
General
vets and pets info
Poisons
Chocolate
Daffodils and Hyacinths
Ethylene Glycol /Antifreeze
Grapes and Raisins
Snake venom- Adder
Spider Plants Liliaceae
Lilies
Macadamia nuts
Nicotine
Onions and garlic
vets and pets info
Directory
vets and pets info
vets and pets info
Interesting Videos
vets and pets info
Pet Behaviour
vets and pets info
Basics of Pet Nutrition
vets and pets info
Lost Boa Constrictor (5 Jun 12)
New Veterinary Practice Offers Alternative Therapies (4 Nov 08)
Watch out for Myxomatosis in Rabbits (22 Sep 07)
New Interactive Pet Health Website Just Launched! (27 Jan 07)
Dangerous and Aggressive Dogs (27 Jan 07)
When should my puppy be vaccinated?
How often should I worm my puppy or kitten?
What diseases should my dog be vaccinated against?
Should I clean my pet's ears?
How often should I worm my cat?
Do rabbits need any vaccinations?
Can rabbits be neutered?
How should I bath my pet?
My pet died, can I find out why?
Should my pet be neutered?

© Samantha J. Coe 2017 | Terms and Conditions |
All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on vetbase.co.uk is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.