Diagnosis of Nicotine Poisoning in Dogs
Diagnosis of nicotine poisoning can be difficult if you do not know that your dog has ingested nicotine because the symptoms can mimic so many other diseases and disorders. Some of these include intoxication from organophosphates, strychnine, mycotoxins, and depressants. If you did not see your dog ingest the nicotine, but you or a family member have nicotine products, be sure to let the veterinarian know so he can do a quick blood and urine chemical test to determine if that is the problem. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the better, because prompt treatment is essential to your dog’s recovery. The veterinarian will do a complete physical examination to check blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, oxygen level, reflexes, weight, and body temperature. An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be done to assess your dog’s electrical and muscular heart functioning.
Other laboratory tests that can help with diagnosis are complete blood count (CBC), blood gas, blood spectrophotometry (to check the chemical level with light absorption), urinalysis, stool sample, and electrolyte profile. Some s may be needed, such as x-rays, MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound. These can help the veterinarian determine how much of the nicotine has been absorbed, how much remains, and if there is any damage to the vital organs.
Treatment of Nicotine Poisoning in Dogs
Treatment depends on the amount of nicotine ingested, how long ago it was ingested, and how much still remains unabsorbed. If it has been less than four hours, there is a chance to stop any damage from being done to your dog’s central nervous system, heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. The veterinarian will induce vomiting or perform a gastric lavage to empty the stomach as much as possible before administering activated charcoal. The charcoal actually sticks to the nicotine and keeps it from causing any more damage on its way through your dog’s system. IV fluids and oxygen therapy will be started, medication for blood pressure and seizures can also be given. The veterinarian will keep your dog overnight for observation, continuing to monitor heart activity, blood pressure, and renal activity.
Worried about the cost of Nicotine Poisoning treatment?
Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.
Diagnosis ofÂ Nicotine Toxicity in Dogs
Diagnosis of nicotine toxicity is generally based on a history of exposure to or eating of nicotine products and development of toxic signs.
Advanced testing can be completed to confirm exposure as needed however this is not routinely done. Nicotine can be detected in blood, urine, and from stomach contents. Some human and veterinary diagnostic laboratories can run these confirmatory tests.