A LEEDS vet is urging dog owners to keep their pet pooches safe after a rise in cases of e-cigarette poisoning.
White Cross Vets, which has practices in Roundhay and Guiseley, has seen a major increase in the number of dogs in need of treatment after chewing or eating e-cigarettes.
James Wood, clinic director at the Roundhay practice, said: “One thing is crystal clear – if an e-cigarette is chewed or ingested by a pet dog it could be fatal.”
Recent figures from The Veterinary Poisons Information Service also show a 300 per cent increase in dogs swallowing e-cigarettes this year, compared to the same period last year.
James said: “E-cigarettes have become incredibly popular and as the debate rages on about the health risks of these unregulated products.
“Nicotine is toxic to pets and when ingested the more minor symptoms regularly include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, agitation and nervousness as well as an increase in their heart rate and respiration rate.
“Heavy panting and tremors are other key indicators and large doses can result in seizures, comas, cardiac arrest and even death.”
He added: “When nicotine is ingested there is a very rapid-onset of clinical signs, generally within 15 minutes to an hour.
“In addition to all the gastrointestinal issues, an e-cigarette could seriously damage a dog’s mouth and if they swallowed the whole thing they could end up needing some invasive surgery. It’s therefore essential that pet owners act now and safely store away their e-cigarettes and capsules in order to ensure that their dogs are not at risk.”
Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices. An atomiser heats up liquid containing nicotine and turns it into a vapour that can be inhaled, creating a vapour cloud that looks similar to smoke.