ASPCA Warns Pet Owners to Be Careful With Ecigs
Nicotine might be something that vapers crave, but it can be deadly to our pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has frequently dealt with calls related to nicotine poisoning over the years, but in most cases, the exposure came from tobacco cigarettes, nicotine patches, or nicotine gum. However now that the ecig industry is booming and vaping is becoming so prevalent, we need to remember to use extreme caution to keep our ecig cartridges and eliquids out of the reach of vulnerable pets.
According to the ASPCA, pets can sometimes be drawn to eliquids or old cartridges because they smell inviting. The variety of flavors attracts their interest and they assume they are sniffing out a new treat, rather than a poisonous substance that could potentially be lethal if ingested. Dogs are the most common victims, but cats have occasionally been poisoned too.
So how do you know if your pet has somehow gotten into your vape stash? The first sign in both dogs and cats is vomiting. As the nicotine travels through the body, they may be drooling, acting agitated, have frequent diarrhea, and an elevated heart rate. If your pet ingests a significant amount of nicotine or a higher dosage, it can cause tremors or seizures or sometime muscle weakness and lethargy. Eventually, this can be fatal.
Remember that liquid nicotine can be absorbed through the skin or even through mucous membranes found in the mouths of most pets. Some experts believe ecigs pose a greater risk to animals because the nicotine is so rapidly absorbed through the mucous membranes. On the other hand, if your dog eats a tobacco cigarette, the liver has a chance to filter out most of the toxins before they cause any harm.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten your ecig cartridges or ingested eliquid, you need to act quickly. Symptoms usually develop within an hour. As soon as you suspect a problem, call your local vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.
Most importantly, keep your eliquids and cartridges far from your pet’s reach. Animals become part of the family and it would be devastating to lose your furry friend because of careless vape habits.