Maness Veterinary Services

522 SW 27th Place
Newcastle, OK 73065


Tobacco Products

Tobacco products contain varying amounts of nicotine with cigarettes containing 13-30 mg and cigars containing 15-40 mg.12 Butts contain about 25% of the total nicotine content. The minimum lethal dose in dogs and cats is reported as 20-100 mg.8 Signs often develop quickly (usually within 15-45 minutes) and include excitation, tachypnea, salivation, emesis, and diarrhea.12 Muscle weakness, twitching, depression, tachycardia, shallow respiration, collapse, coma, and cardiac arrest can follow the period of excitation. Death occurs secondary to respiratory paralysis.12

Treatment with recent ingestion in asymptomatic animals involves inducing emesis. Never attempt emesis in stimulated animals as it may trigger a seizure. Activated charcoal has been shown to be helpful in adsorbing nicotine.12 Patients should be monitored closely and treated symptomatically. Artificial respiration is indicated in patients with respiratory paralysis.