What Do You Do if Your Dog Gets Hold of Your Nicorette Gum?

Nicorette can help you quit smoking, but it can kill your dog.
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You have to salute anyone who attempts to quit tobacco. The nicotine in tobacco is an exceptionally addictive alkaloid, compelling the victim to continually seek another fix to escape withdrawal. Nicorette gum has helped many quit consuming tobacco. Sadly, the nicotine in the gum can be lethal if your dog eats it. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Evil Weed, Evil Chew

Chewing Nicorette gum releases nicotine into the mouth, reducing urges to consume tobacco, notes the National Institutes of Health website, SmokeFree.gov. It relieves withdrawal symptoms and can double the chances of quitting successfully. Each piece of gum contains between 2 and 4 milligrams of nicotine. For a canine, though, even low doses can be toxic. And 10 milligrams per kilogram -- or 2.2 pounds -- of your canine's body weight could be lethal.

Nicorette Toxicity

Nicotine poisoning symptoms appear within an hour of ingestion. Any amount of Nicorette eaten constitutes a medical emergency for your dog. Left untreated, his breathing muscles can fail, smothering him. If you suspect he may have swallowed Nicorette and he exhibits any symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. Your pet may suffer from cardiac arrhythmias, excessively slow or fast heartbeat, collapse, depression, diarrhea, dilated pupils, drooling, hyperactivity, lethargy at high doses, seizures, stumbling, tremors, and weakness.

What Now?

If prompt aggressive professional treatment follows small amounts of Nicorette ingested, the outlook is good. Large amounts portend poor prognoses. Surviving the first four to five hours can be a cause for hope.