Pets and Pot: Poisoning cases are at an all-time “high.” There has been an increase in the number of marijuana ingestion cases in pets for the past five years. This is a result of increasing availability of marijuana for medical and recreational uses, which is now also available in novel forms like foods, drinks, oils, pills, and tinctures. So, there is more access to marijuana than ever before. Easy access to humans means easy access to pets, too. Pets, especially dogs, are likely to ingest it in any form because of their curious personalities. However, pet owners need to understand that any amount of ingestion can be very risky for pets. In this article, we will cover signs to look out for when your pet ingests any form of marijuana and likely treatments.
Clinical Signs of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs
Some symptoms of ingestion include poor coordination, glassy eyes, slow response time and many more. Other common signs include vomiting and salivation even though marijuana contains high antiemetic effects. This happens mostly if the plant (live or dried) is ingested. You can also watch out for signs like:
- Slow heart rate
- CNS stimulation
It can take up to five to ten minutes to see symptoms if smoke was inhaled and 30 minutes to hours if it was ingested.
Marijuana Poisoning Treatment for Dogs
The treatment is both symptomatic and supportive. If the ingestion was in large quantities or recent, then a veterinarian can decontaminate them either through vomiting or gastric lavage. Body temperature and blood pressure are vital signs that need to be monitored and corrected by your vet.. Also, your vet may consider administering doses of activated charcoal to reduce the effect of the products. If signs like CNS stimulation are noticed, then treating with diazepam may be recommended by your vet. Recovery is not instant so it might take one to three days before you see your dog make a full recovery.
These days, marijuana is available in different forms, however this does not affect its concentration. Pet owners need to be mindful of marijuana-infused products around their pets. Veterinary professionals should also be aware of these signs for prompt treatment as owners might not want to tell you marijuana is involved. Always be honest with the professionals, and call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for the best outcome.