As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pup safe and healthy, but accidents can happen, such as your pup eating a tobacco pouch. It may not be your fault, but you should be aware of the potential dangers that can arise if your dog consumes a tobacco product. Tobacco products are toxic to dogs and can include cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pouches, cigarettes, and many others. While it may seem unlikely that a dog would willingly eat a tobacco pouch, dogs are naturally curious and may accidentally ingest a tobacco pouch while exploring their surroundings. They can also be intrigued by the smell of the tobacco and accidentally consume it while trying to get to the source of the scent. Regardless of how, if your dog ate a tobacco pouch, the results could be devastating. But why, though, is tobacco so deadly to dogs?
Clinical Signs of Tobacco Poisoning
Tobacco contains several chemicals, the most active of which is nicotine, a substance highly poisonous to dogs. Nicotine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Dogs can show signs of poisoning within one hour of ingestion. Symptoms of tobacco poisoning are varied and lengthy. Some signs can be visible, while others are psychological and therefore go unnoticed. The possible symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Weak pulse
- Dilated pupils
Treatment for Tobacco Poisoning
If you suspect your dog has consumed a tobacco pouch or other tobacco product, you must act quickly. First, call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for guidance. They will be able to provide you with instructions on what to do next and may recommend bringing your dog in for treatment. In some cases, treatment for tobacco poisoning in dogs may involve inducing vomiting to remove the toxins from the body. Your veterinarian may also administer activated charcoal and provide supportive care, such as IV fluids and medications to control symptoms. The sooner treatment is started, the better the chances of a successful outcome.