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Vets are warning pet owners about the dangers of e-cigarettes

Vets are warning pet owners of the dangers of e-cigarettes, following the death of a puppy in Cornwall after biting into an e-cigarette refill.

According to reports the female puppy was a recently rehomed Staffordshire cross. It became unwell last week after apparently consuming an e-cigarette refill and passed away on the Monday morning after failing to respond to treatment.Vets are now alerting pet-owners to the risks e-cigarettes pose and warn them to keep them out of reach of animals.

Exposure to nicotine-containing products (tobacco, nicotine replacement gums and patches, agricultural pesticides and e-cigarettes) is potentially hazardous. A typical ‘natural’ cigarette could yield, at most, 30mg of nicotine and the ‘butts’ and filters of used cigarettes remain toxic.

Ingestion of refill bottles may present a particular hazard as the nicotine may leak over a period of time or may suddenly be released after a variable period in the gut. 

British Veterinary Association president and vet Robin Hargreaves, said: "This is a tragic case and very worrying when you consider how many people are now using e-cigarettes. Nicotine poisoning acts very quickly and can be fatal, especially when large doses are involved. E-cigarettes and refills can easily contain sufficient quantities of nicotine to kill a small animal very quickly.

"If you use e-cigarettes, we recommend storing all equipment safely out of reach of your pet. If you suspect your pet has chewed or eaten an e-cigarette or any toxic substance then it is vital that you contact a vet for treatment as quickly as possible."

For 24 hour poisons advice veterinary professionals should call 020 7188 0200.

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