THE number of pet dogs being poisoned by e-cigarettes is significantly on the increase, according to a veterinary practice.

White Cross Vets has had to treat a number of pets that have swallowed the cigarette substitute while the Veterinary Poisons Information Service has recorded a 300 per cent increase in incidents in the last 12 months.

One such incident involved an eight-month old Zuchon puppy called Elton who picked up a capsule that was accidentally dropped on the floor.

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Luckily for the puppy the incident was not fatal as his owner Emma Ronnay, of Redcar, sought help at her local vets.

She said: “I was at work when my house-mate rang to tell me what had happened. The nicotine capsule fell out of his hand and before he could pick it up Elton had grabbed it. He instantly washed Elton’s mouth out with water and I took him to the vets.”

Vet Andrew Miller said: “Elton was lucky because he received treatment straight away and we knew exactly what had happened. We gave him some medication to counter the effects of the poison and a charcoal treatment to line his stomach and he has made a full recovery.

“When nicotine is ingested there is a very rapid-onset of clinical signs, generally within 15 minutes to an hour, so if a dog is home alone and something like this happens the risks are far greater.”

For further information about White Cross Vets visit www.whitecrossvets.co.uk or call 01642-486 338 or 01642-576333.