How do you know if your dog has nicotine poisoning? Simple and Effective Tips

Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning in Dogs

The signs of nicotine toxicity in dogs vary significantly, depending on the concentration of nicotine in the product and how much of the product is ingested. Overstimulated nerves can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, drooling, and vomiting, as well as agitation, excitement, and constricted pupils. Higher doses can cause seizures, confusion, difficulty walking, and an elevated heart rate. Ingestion of more than 9-12 mg/kg of nicotine without decontamination will likely result in death.

In general, patches contain the largest concentration of nicotine and are the most dangerous to dogs. But even a cigarette butt can contain enough nicotine to cause illness. Careful attention must also be paid to nicotine gums. These often have lower concentrations of nicotine but may also contain xylitol, which is also toxic for dogs.

Diagnosis of Nicotine Poisoning in Dogs

Diagnosis of nicotine toxicity is highly dependent on known exposure or evidence of tobacco products in a dog’s vomit. Clinical signs can be very similar to those of other stimulant poisonings, such as with chocolate, but there are no specific tests to confirm it. Notify your veterinarian immediately of any access to these products if you see symptoms of toxicity.

What Does Nicotine Toxicity Look Like?

Once ingested, nicotine toxicity can cause abnormal signs within an hour. Your pet may vomit or start to drool and become nauseous. This can then progress to abnormal nervous system signs such as excitement, twitching, hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch), tremors, hallucinations and seizures. Once at the veterinarian, your pet may be found to have an abnormal heart rate and blood pressure.

These abnormal signs can be caused by a number of toxins including caffeine, human medications, moldy food and algae. Therefore it is extremely important to be honest with your veterinarian when you speak with them about what your pet may have had access to. Trust me when I say as veterinarians, we will not be making any police reports about what your pet ingested. We just want to know what is causing their abnormalities so we can help them.

Nicotine Poisoning in Dogs | Wag!

Did you know that nicotine can be highly toxic and even fatal if your pet ingests it? Depending on the source of the nicotine and the size of your pet, even a small amount can cause serious complications. Keep reading to find out what to look for, common sources of exposure and what can be done if your pet accidentally ingests nicotine.