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E-Cigarettes Pose Health Risk To Pets

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Dog and cat owners who use e-cigarettes are being warned to keep them as far away as possible from their pets.

The warning comes after the Pet Poison Hotline announced there has been a 400-percent jump in the last two years, in pets being poisoned by e-cigarettes.

"This dog got into something she shouldn't have, she ate mushrooms and almost died."

Jane is talking about her little puppy, Gracie.

Gracie had her second close encounter with death after she accidentally ingested a prescription pill -- luckily she recovered.

That's the same warning from Doctor Jyl Rubin, who says e-cigarette related poisoning is on the rise among household pets.

"The e-cigarettes have become so popular in recent years and more people are smoking them in higher amounts", Dr. Rubin says.

She says cats and dogs are getting poisoned by ingesting the e-cigarette liquid, and by inhaling the vapor.

Dr. Rubin says it's not just e-cigarettes that pet owners need to watch out for, but also traditional tobacco products.

"Anytime there's smoke in the air, animals become more susceptible because their lungs are a lot smaller."

In fact, Dr. Rubin says 25-percent of the cats and dogs she sees suffer from some type of smoke-related illness.

She adds that she's treating more pets that usual for lung cancer, and when she tells pet owners their animals are developing certain conditions because of the owners' smoking habits, they are shocked.

Dr. Rubin says the most common symptoms to look out for are vomiting and diarrhea; she also suggests pet owners keep their e-cigarettes and tobacco products locked away and out of reach.

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