As the popularity of E-cigarettes increases, so does the nicotine danger for dogs and cats. E-cigarettes are of particular concern because they contain a more concentrated level of nicotine than traditional tobacco products (it’s important to note, however, that all nicotine products pose a danger if ingested).
The cartridge of an E-cigarette can contain liquid nicotine comprised of up to 80 ml per teaspoon. Refill liquid nicotine containers can be even more concentrated and contain up to 500 ml per teaspoon. Many of these liquids contain flavoring agents, which may make them more appealing to pets. When a dog or cat ingests nicotine, especially at these highly concentrated levels, the result can be deadly respiratory muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning in pets include:
- Vomiting (this if often the first sign)
- Increased heart rate
If you suspect nicotine ingestion, contact a veterinarian or poison control hotline right away. To prevent nicotine poisoning, keep all E-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products out of reach.