While DDT sprayed on our growing food may be a thing of the past, we humans seem to have a knack for creating other toxins that harm our environment, our pets and other animals and ourselves. Unfortunately, many of these bad guys don’t rear their toxic properties until much damage is done.
There is a Huffington Post about a dog in the United Kingdom, Ivy, a 4 week old Staffordshire Bull Terrier whose owner accidentally dropped an E Cigarette nicotine capsule. Ivy grabbed the capsule, only pierced the plastic container and ingested a tiny amount of the ingredients. In moments she was foaming at the mouth. Within 10 minutes Ivy received veterinary emergency care. But the toxic effects of even a very small amount were too much for Ivy and sadly, she passed away.
The now popular electronic cigarettes are used to deliver a nicotine infused vapor with the process called “vaping.” Although there is no toxic smoke, concerns are that the exhaled vapor can cause harm to people and pets close to “vaping.” The worry of exhaled vapors is so great that a number of cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have added E Cigarettes in their smoking bans in bars, restaurants, parks and farmers markets.
The capsules or cartridges in E Cigarettes pose an even greater danger. They contain nicotine, water, glycerol, propylene glycol (used in inhalers) and flavorings.
Nicotine is a stimulant and is addictive. It is found in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants. Nicotine is present in other substances besides E cigarettes – nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, plain raw tobacco.
Effects depend on the amount consumed. Signs are vomiting, abnormal heart rate, tremors, weakness, incoordination and collapse. Pets can show signs of poisoning within an hour or less of exposure (ingestion or inhalation).
Pets are highly susceptible to the toxic effects of many things we may use. We should be going green inside our homes and in our gardens.
We know the ill effects of smoking and how beneficial to our health it is to quit. But there are other ways besides E Cigarettes. If you must have them, please don’t use them near your pets or children. And please keep all related items out of your pet’s and child’s reach.