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You are watching: What happens if a dog eats tobacco

Mar Vista pet Medical Center

3850 Grand view Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90066





Everyone knows the surgeon General’s warning about cigarette smoking yet what around cigarette eating? Nicotine poisoning is a very real concern anywhere the a pet may discover cigarettes, tobacco butts, chewing tobacco, or also nicotine gum, patches, or e-cigarettes. Dogs, specifically puppies, often tend to chew things up very first and ask questions later. Cat may uncover a cigarette target to it is in a nicely sized pouncing toy worthy that chewing.

(Photocredit: Traumrune via Wikimedia Commons)

Luckily because that pets and tiny children, tobacco tastes terrible. Even chewing tobacco must have flavorings added to do it something worthy of oral enjoyment. Still, cigarettes have actually plenty the nicotine and even a little cigarette butt can mean serious illness or even fatality for a small pet.

The toxicity dose because that nicotine in pets is 0.5 come 1 mg per pound of pet body weight while the lethal sheep is 4 mg per pound of pet body weight. So how does this interpret to nicotine containing products? A tobacco contains between 9 & 30 mg that nicotine depending on the kind of cigarette. As soon as the tobacco is smoked, the nicotine concentrates under in the dental end meaning that a little nub that a cigarette butt will retain 25% the the nicotine contained in the initial cigarette. Smoking a cigarette returns 0.5-2.0 mg the nicotine to the smoker however eating the tobacco (or other nicotine product) is a whole various ballgame as every one of the nicotine becomes available for absorption into the body. Take into consideration that a 20lb dog would only require 10mg the nicotine to end up being poisoned and also a 40lb dog would require only 1cc (less than a 4 minutes 1 teaspoon) of e-juice.

Cigarettes: 9-30 mg that nicotineCigarette butts: 2-8 mg that nicotineCigars: as much as 40 mg of nicotineChewing tobacco: 6-8 mg the nicotine per gramNicotine gum: 2-4 mg the nicotine per pieceNicotine patches: 8.3-114 mg that nicotineE-cigarette cartridges: 6-36 mg that nicotineE-juice/E-fluid (to refill E-cigarettes): up to 36 mg of nicotine every ml

Some great news is that nicotine is not soaked up directly in the acid setting of the stomach; the nicotine must move past the stomach into the tiny intestine for absorption. Among the very first things nicotine does in the body is wake up the vomit facility of the brain, for this reason inducing vomiting which might save the patient’s life if there is an ext cigarette product in the stomach.

(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)
(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)
Electronic cigarette juice.(Photocredit: VIN)


Signs begin as quickly as one hour post-ingestion. Symptoms include:

TremorsConstricted pupilsDroolingAuditory and also Visual HallucinationsExcitementVomiting and also DiarrheaTwitching possibly progressing to SeizuresRacing love rate however slow heart rate with small dosesHigh blood pressure but at greater doses there is a circulatory collapse

It is easy to confused nicotine poisoning with other poisonings such together strychnine, chocolate, organophosphate insecticide, and details molds. Hopefully, there will certainly be cigarette products in the vomit to give away the diagnosis.


If no too much time (an hour or so) has passed because consumption of the nicotine product, vomiting can be induced. Washing out the stomach to gain rid of any type of remaining cigarette products is helpful but is likely to call for sedation as well as activated charcoal to bind the nicotine and prevent that from entering the body. Clearly this would certainly be performed at the veterinarian"s office.

Treatment is usually supportive after that. Intravenous fluids support circulation if the body gets rid of the nicotine. If seizures or tremors are occurring, medications will be necessary to suppress them. If the pet survives the an initial 4 hours, prognosis is feeling to it is in good. Nicotine is inactivated by a healthy liver and its metabolites space excreted in urine. ~ 16 hours, the nicotine ingested need to be gone.


National animal Poison Control is easily accessible 24 hrs a job at888-426-4435 and consultations cost about $65.00.Once a situation number has been assigned, monitor up is freewhich way you can get initial very first aid info beforeseeing her veterinarian and also your veterinarian have the right to consultwith a toxicology specialist before beginning treatment.


If her pet has actually a HomeAgain microchip, totally free poison control consultation is consisted of in the full business registration. Contact 1-888-HomeAgain and also select the option for “emergency” and you will be linked to National animal Poison Control. They will require your pet’s microchip number.

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If your pet has some other brand that microchip or a simple HomeAgain registration, you can acquire a full company membership because that under $20 by calling 1-888-HomeAgain and also then friend can acquire a poison manage consultation at no additional charge as part of the full company membership.