Nicotine poisoning has been going up in America and that has sparked a backlash against electronic cigarettes. We don’t talk about nicotine poisoning of pets but that is a worry, too. The media, howver, is using nicotine dangers as a way to attack vaping. The reality is that these poisonings aren’t really becoming more common, there is just more liquid nicotine out there. The more people vape, the more there is an opportunity for newcomers to not practice proper ecig safety. We have to protect children.
This is a problem that can be worked on through educating consumers and taking certain precautions, but in the meanwhile detractors of the vaping revolution will take it as just another reason to shut down the industry. We don’t even know if they truly believe the danger is that high, but it is a convenient talking point for them.
Even as we struggle with this problem and hear about a rise in the calls to poison centers due to liquid nicotine, we know that there is more to it. The problem may be outsized in terms of how much news media attention it gets, but it can’t be dismissed easily either. When you are talking about nicotine poisoning, especially when the majority of the victims are young children, you need to take it seriously. This is the only way that current and future vapers will take ecig safety itself seriously, and contribute to a responsible consumer base, and that helps us all.
But kids aren’t the only ones at risk when we talk about nicotine poisoning. For pet owners, they often see their furry friends as their children in a way and refer to them lovingly in that manner. Even so, when it comes to danger, they often think that these animals have an innate sense of not getting themselves into bad situations. That their survival instincts kick in and keep them from doing things that could hurt themselves.
To that we ask, does a dog keep himself from eating chocolate because it could kill him? Of course not, because chocolate is tasty and enticing! Nicotine poisoning of pets is something that we can avoid.
Ecig Safety Is The Key, Yet Again
What we end up here is a hidden problem that needs to be addressed. Pet poisonings due to liquid nicotine are a legitimate fear, and a scary one at that. If you have a canine, feline, or any other animal companion, you need to vape responsibly and practice proper ecig safety. This means not leaving your ecig juice out there on a counter where your pet can get to it. Treat liquid nicotine as you would medication that you wouldn’t let your pet go near. That is the first and most crucial step you can take as a pet owner. Lock it up in your medicine cabinet when not in use, or at least in a drawer that can’t be nudged open by curious noses or paws.
We’ve written many times about how careful you need to be with ecig juice. This is especially the case for anyone who either drips or is refilling their tanks or cartridges. This is a serious thing for humans and you need to take the procedures necessary to keep yourself safe. Here we want to make sure you understand the effects in pets and how important it is to understand what happens if and when it does.
No matter how many precautions we take, there is always the chance for some mishap or accident. Maybe you forgot to tell your neighbor to lock up the medicine cabinet after he borrows some aspirin, or maybe something else that couldn’t be foreseen happens. Aside from taking all the steps to minimize this risk, you would also be wise to educate yourself on the signs of nicotine poisoning in pets so you can see it and act quickly should the unthinkable happen.
What To Do If Nicotine Poisoning Happens
Dr. Tina Wismeri writes here that the most common signal of nicotine poisoning in pets is vomiting. But that’s not where it ends. “As nicotine receptors throughout the central nervous system and the body are stimulated, drooling, diarrhea, agitation and high heart rates can occur,” Dr. Wismeri explains.
“With higher doses of nicotine, the receptors become blocked, and tremors and seizures can be seen, along with lethargy, muscular weakness and death from respiratory muscle weakness and heart arrhythmias,” she warns. But this actually isn’t the worst part of it for your pet.
Dr. Wismeri also explains that swallowing liquid nicotine is actually a less dangerous way of absorbing it for your pets. “The liver removes much of the nicotine before it reaches the bloodstream,” she explains. The bigger worry is that liquid nicotine can be absored through the skin or mucous membranes of both pets and humans alike. If this happens then the protective characteristics of the liver are bypassed. “This means more nicotine will be active when compared to the same amount of ingested tobacco in a traditional cigarette,” Dr. Wismeri points out.
If you notice any of these signs in your pets, you should immediately take your pet to a veterinarian. This is a real emergency and you should treat it as such. After your pet ingests liquid nicotine, they will start showing symptoms and vomiting within about 30 minutes. This is a scary thought, but be prepared to move quickly and get them help.
All of this is avoidable for the most part if you simply take good care of your ecig juice. Think 10 steps ahead as to what your dog or cat could get into. These are smart creatures and sometimes their curiosity gets the best of them. Be a responsible pet owner and you’ll have reduced the risk of an emergency and avoid tragedy. It’s up to you to take responsibility and vape safely. Enjoy your ecigs, just make sure your pets don’t suffer as a result of carelessness.