Reports that a puppy in Cornwall has died after biting into an electronic cigarette refill, have led vets to warn pet owners to ensure e-cigarettes are kept out of reach of animals.

A vet in Cornwall worked through the night on Sunday (February 16) to try to save a 12-week-old terrier that had bitten into a capsule from an e-cigarette.

Unfortunately, despite prompt treatment for nicotine poisoning, the puppy died on Monday morning, prompting the BVA to issue advice: “This is a tragic case and very worrying when you consider how many people are now using e-cigarettes,” said BVA president Robin Hargreaves.

“Nicotine poisoning acts very quickly and can be fatal, especially when large doses are involved. E-cigarettes and refills can easily contain sufficient quantities of nicotine to kill a small animal very quickly.

“If you use e-cigarettes, we recommend storing all equipment safely out of reach of your pet. If you suspect your pet has chewed or eaten an e-cigarette or any toxic substance then it is vital that you contact a vet for treatment as quickly as possible.”

BVA understands the female puppy was a recently rehomed Staffordshire cross. For more information and advice from vets on animal welfare issues, visit the BVA website at

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