October 20

Cigarette (Nicotine Poisoning) in Dogs & What to Do

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Important message: has your dog eaten a cigar, cigarette, or cigarette butt? If so, please contact your veterinarian right away. This is likely an emergency medical situation.

Everyone knows that dogs love to get into everything and eat everything. They would eat a dead animal on the side of the road or anything that you happen to have sitting inside of your wastebasket in the kitchen. They aren’t picky or discerning eaters at all as you already know. It’s very possible that your dog could eat your cigars, cigarettes, or cigarette butts!

This may seem kind of odd or even funny, but when dogs eat cigars and cigarettes it can lead to nicotine poisoning which is a potentially life-threatening medical situation. Take this seriously and try not to laugh it off as a joke.

Dog Poisonings by Nicotine

If your dog is poisoned by nicotine it’s a serious condition and it can be very damaging to their health. In fact, for many years’ dogs have been eating nicotine containing products designed for human consumption and it’s not good for the dog.

You can find nicotine in many products including vaping liquid, cigarette butts, nicotine patches, cigars, cigarettes, and much more. Dogs can easily get exposed to the nicotine toxins within these products, even if the owners happen to not smoke. As you take your dog outside for a walk, your canine companion can stumble across cigarette butts and start eating them. If anything is on the ground in front of your dog, it could easily snatch it in its jaws and start chewing it before you even know what’s happening.

Nicotine Poisoning Dangers for Dogs

A cigar or cigarette can have as much is 9-30 mg of nicotine within it. Nicotine also remains trapped in cigarette butt filters as well.

A dog can become very sick if it ingests 2.2 mg per bodyweight. A small dog like a chipin eating that much nicotine would likely become really ill. A large dog eating that much nicotine can even become sick also. 20 mg of nicotine per pound is a lethal dose of nicotine for the majority of dogs no matter their size.

Nicotine Poisoning Symptoms in Dogs

If a dog is suddenly suffering from nicotine poison, it could potentially show the following symptoms:

  • erratic heart rate
  • weak pulse
  • discombobulated movements
  • too much excitement
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • paralysis
  • high or low blood pressure
  • shallow breathing/rapid breathing
  • drooling
  • pupil dilation
  • convulsions

No matter what happens, it’s always best to contact the vet if your dog eats a cigar, cigarette, or cigarette butt. Even call if your dog has vomited up to nicotine just to be on the safe side. This is a potentially life-threatening emergency and it needs to be treated as fast as possible and taken very seriously.

If a dog is treated for nicotine poisoning within four hours it has a very good prognosis. Your dog can recover as long as it is treated promptly.

Remember to contact a qualified veterinarian if your puppy or dog eats nicotine containing items. This is necessary to save its life.


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