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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16210
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog ate about 4 or 5 cigarettes last night. He was fine

Customer Question

My dog ate about 4 or 5 cigarettes last night. He was fine all night but pooped on the floor this morning (poop was very firm). He threw up his morning meal and didn't eat his evening meal (he never passes up food) and when he drinks water he is throwing that up too. He seems happy and is romping around like normal... just the vomit when he drinks or eats. He is 11 month old Labrador Retriever.
Could it just be the nicotine working it's way out of his system? It seems odd that he is sick nearly 24 hours after eating the cigarettes.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Even with the delayed onset, I would still be concerned that the cigarette butts and nicotine are still our culprits here. That said, we cannot rule out Pooh Bear having eaten anything else that could upset his stomach. In any case, we do need to consider this known ingestion as we monitor and start supportive care for him.
Now just to note nicotine/cigarette ingestion is actually quite dangerous for dogs. Common adverse effects of this type of poisoning include GI signs (appetite loss, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea) and lethargy. Other possible signs that it can trigger are hyperactivity, pupil dilation, changes in breathing/heart rates, and neurological signs (ie tremors, wobbliness, collapse and seizures). So, it does have the possibility to cause what we are seeing here
Furthermore, I would just note that 4-5 butts would translate to a 16-40 mg dose of nicotine. Now as a large breed that will be mostly grown at his age, this may be just a low dose for him and therefore why we are only seeing GI upset.
In any case, we do want to keep an eye on him and take steps to address this nausea. Now if he cannot keep water down, then we do need to tread with care (since often these dogs will need us to bypass their mouths with injectable anti-vomiting treatment from their vets). Still, if you rest his stomach for a few hours and he can settle, then you can try him with an antacid at this point. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are:
*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg)
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
We tend to want to use these 20 minutes before offering food to allow it to take effect. And of course, if he is has any pre-existing issues or is on any other medications that you haven't noted, you'd want to check with his vet before using these. Hopefully once that is board, his vomiting will settle but if it doesn't then that is our cue to follow up with his vet.
Though if he can keep this down and starts to settle, we can then initiate a light diet option for a few days. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep his stomach settled.
Finally, since vomiting and anorexia can lead to dehydration in the dog, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check his hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have him seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for him. (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level, depresses them, and makes them feel ill).
Overall, it is quite possible that the cigarette butts are causing this nausea that is then triggering his vomiting and anorexia. In this case, if we can rest his stomach and get him to settle, then we can use the above to soothe his GI upset. But if you find he is just too severely nauseous, then we'd want to have him checked by his vet to rule out anything else causing trouble as well and have them start him on injectable anti-vomiting treatment to halt his vomiting and get him back to normal for you.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Pooh Bear. How is everything going?

nekovet