A dog owner is warning fellow pet owners about the dangers of electronic cigarettes after his Staffordshire Terrier puppy accidentally ingested a bit of the liquid and died. Keith Sutton’s dog, Ivy, bit through a capsule of the e-cigarette refill liquid and within 30 seconds the poison took hold and a few hours later she was dead.
Keith had recently switched from conventional cigarettes to the e-cigarettes and had left the bottle on his dining room table. 14-month-old Ivy, who was a rescue dog, bit into the container and the nicotine liquid touched the roof of her mouth. Keith said, "I peered round the corner from the kitchen and the dog was on the floor with the bottle of e-liquid." He said that she began frothing at the mouth and vomiting within 30 seconds of ingesting the “tiniest amount” of liquid.
Her tongue and lips turned blue, she vomited and messed herself. He rushed her to an animal hospital but despite their best efforts she died a few hours later. Ivy is believed to be the first pet to die from the nicotine cartridges in the United Kingdom.
e-cigarettes (or electric cigarettes) are battery-powered cartridges filled with nicotine liquid that when heated creates an inhalable vapor. Manufacturers of the products say they are less dangerous than tobacco products and help smokers quit. The products have yet to be regulated in the United States or England, but based on Keith’s experience, the fluid poses a serious danger to pets.
Liquid nicotine not only contains nicotine it also contains chemicals such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (can be used as antifreeze as well as many human-grade cosmetic products) which are mixed with vegetable glycerin and flavorings.
Dogs only need to ingest 10 milligrams per kilogram of their weight to be in danger. A vet told Western Daily Press that "The dog started to get a reaction after 30 seconds of piercing the bottle. The fluid is potentially fatal for dogs and they are perfectly capable of putting a tooth through the packaging."
Keith is heartbroken. A dog lover and grandfather, he is worried not only for the safety of pets but also for children. After his experience, Keith is calling for the fuel to become a controlled substance in the same way alcohol and medications are.
"I'm never going to go near an electronic cigarette again," said Keith. "I saw that look of fear in my poor dog's face - I don't want to see that same look on a child's face."
View more articles in: Safety and Emergency Care