Nicotine hair concentrations in dogs exposed to environmental tobacco smoke: a pilot study

C. M. Knottenbelt, S. Bawazeer, J. Hammond, D. Mellor, D. G. Watson

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7 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the association between dog hair nicotine concentration and owner-reported exposure to environmental tobacco smoke to establish whether dogs are exposed to significant, detectable amounts of environmental tobacco smoke in the home.
Hair was collected from 23 dogs exposed to environmental tobacco smoke and from 15 dogs reportedly not exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Hair was washed to remove adhered nicotine, digested in 1 M NaOH and extracted using solid phase extraction. Nicotine concentration was measured by high-resolution mass spectrometry. Results were analysed using a Kruskall-Wallis test and post hoc pair-wise comparisons using a Mann-Whitney test to assess significance between exposure groups.
The different exposure groups were significantly different (P<0.001) for both hair and surface nicotine. Pair-wise comparisons were significant at P<0.05 for all categories except unexposed and occasionally exposed groups (P=0.076).
Dog hair nicotine concentration appears to be strongly associated with reported exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The range and median of hair nicotine concentration in dogs exposed to environmental tobacco smoke was similar to those reported in children. This suggests that dog hair could provide a useful method of determining the amount of environmental tobacco smoke exposure in all environments common to pets and children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-626
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • nicotine
  • hair concentrations
  • dogs
  • tobacco smoke
  • environmental
  • pilot study

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