Ingesting nicotine can be extremely dangerous for pets, with symptoms appearing within just one hour of ingestion. Nicotine can be found in a wide variety of products, such as cigarettes, vapes, gum, chewing tobacco, and more. Given its wide availability, the chances of your pet encountering nicotine are very likely. Understanding the negative effects of nicotine ingestion on pets is essential in keeping them safe. Read below to learn more about the dangers of nicotine ingestion in pets.

Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning in Pets

The effects of nicotine poisoning in pets can occur rapidly, with symptoms generally appearing within 15 to 60 minutes of ingestion. Dogs and cats that have ingested nicotine may exhibit a range of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Elevations in heart rate
  • Elevations in respiration rate
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Cyanosis
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest

Treatment For Nicotine Poisoning

Nicotine poisoning can happen rapidly and even be fatal for pets if not treated quickly. If your pet has ingested nicotine, immediate medical help is essential. Just a small dose requires urgent veterinary attention. As soon as you become aware of nicotine ingestion, contact a veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661. Do not give your dog antacids, as the acid in the stomach helps to slow down the absorption of nicotine. Your veterinarian may have to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to stop further absorption of nicotine from the stomach, as well as IV fluids to aid excretion and stabilization. While it may not be possible to completely rid your surrounding environment of substances containing nicotine, monitoring it closely to ensure that your pet does not ingest any nicotine-containing products is always advisable. Prevention is always the best and most cost-effective approach.