As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends. However, accidents happen, and in some cases, curious pets may ingest marijuana. Marijuana ingestion in pets has become increasingly common with the rise of recreational marijuana use and legalization in some states. In fact, according to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, cases of dogs ingesting marijuana have seen a steep rise in recent years.
The psychoactive compound in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), affects the central nervous system and can have toxic effects on pets. The THC content in marijuana products varies, and even a small amount can be dangerous for smaller dogs. Common marijuana products that pets may ingest include dried leaves from the marijuana plant, marijuana edibles such as pot brownies and chocolate bars, and even CBD oil. In some rare instances, pets may be exposed to marijuana through secondhand smoke in the home or at a dog park.
The best way to prevent marijuana toxicity in pets is to keep all marijuana products and food products that contain marijuana in a safe place out of reach of your furry friends. However, if you suspect your pet has ingested marijuana, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of marijuana exposure in pets can vary depending on the amount ingested and the size of the pet. Some common clinical signs of marijuana toxicity in pets include lethargy, ataxia or lack of coordination, urinary incontinence, muscle tremors, and low body temperature. In more severe cases, pets may experience static ataxia, extreme lethargy, low blood pressure, and even coma. In rare cases, marijuana toxicity can be fatal, but the minimum lethal oral dose of THC in dogs is unknown.
Should you induce vomiting?
If you suspect your pet has ingested marijuana, do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by a veterinarian. Ingesting marijuana products can cause severe symptoms in pets, and inducing vomiting can cause additional complications. Instead, take your pet to the vet’s office or an emergency vet as soon as possible. The veterinarian may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to help remove the marijuana from your pet’s gastrointestinal tract.
In extreme cases, your pet may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids to manage the effects of marijuana consumption. Treatment may also include fluid therapy, and in severe cases, medical management to control the heart rate and blood pressure. In rare cases, pets may require oxygen supplementation to maintain adequate oxygen levels in the blood.
The good news is that with prompt veterinary care, most pets recover from marijuana toxicity without long-term effects. However, the effects of marijuana ingestion can last for much time, and in some cases, pets may need ongoing monitoring and supportive care. It’s important to note that the effects of marijuana on pets can be unpredictable, and the signs of more severe marijuana poisoning may not appear for several hours after ingestion.
Prevention is best defense
In conclusion, if your puppy eats marijuana, the bottom line is to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Prevention is the best way to avoid marijuana toxicity in pets, but accidents can happen. As responsible dog owners, it’s important to keep all marijuana products out of reach of our furry friends and to seek veterinary attention immediately if our pets are exposed to marijuana. Remember, marijuana consumption can be dangerous for our furry friends, so it’s important to keep them safe and healthy.