1. ITV Report

Advice about e-cigarettes and pets

Laura Mckirdy warns people to keep e-cigarettes out of reach Photo: ITV Border

Many people use electronic cigarettes as a replacement for smoking and although the reason behind using the device is to improve human health, e-cigarettes can be fatal if consumed.

A dog in Cumbria has died from eating an e-cigarette. It's thought to be the first case of this kind in Cumbria.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, can contain sufficient quantities of nicotine, enough to kill a small animal.

Nicotine poisoning acts very quickly and can be fatal. Laura Mckirdy examined the dog that died of nicotine poisoning:

Symptoms of a nicotine overdose:

  • Twitchy
  • Unable to walk / co-ordinate legs
  • Hypo-aesthetic - overreacting to light, touch, and sound
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Low temperature
  • Salivating, vomiting , diarrhoea
  • Collapsed / lethargic after a few hours

What to do:

  • Store e-cigarettes and refill equipment safely out of reach of children and pets
  • Contact a vet for treatment as quickly as possible if you suspect your pet has chewed or eaten an e-cigarette or any toxic substance
There are warnings on the packaging of e-cigs and refills Credit: ITV Border

Though it's rare that incidents like this occur, more are being reported as e-cigarettes are becoming more widely used.

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