April 12, 2019

What happens when pets encounter marijuana?

What happens when pets encounter marijuana?
Dr. Chris Brown

HEALTH ALERT: Check those treats. We’re currently in the midst of a global pet marijuana epidemic. And the ‘stoned’ cold truth is that it’s causing some serious medical consequences…

In fact, some parts of the world are seeing a 700% increase in hospital admissions for pets feeling far from straight. Social use and decriminalisation in large parts of the world are making it more likely that pets will encounter the drug. But the reality is that no matter whether they’re finding it themselves or having it fed to them, marijuana is unlikely to be a ‘high’ point in their life.

In fact, as a vet, you never forget your first ‘pot pet’. For me it was a Husky, stumbling around the room, howling away with hugely dilated pupils. Like most pet marijuana toxicities, he’d eaten an edible form of the drug in a brownie while his owners were out of the room. Thankfully, he didn’t progress to the vomiting, urination and sound sensitivity that some cases can. In fact, if dogs eat enough of the drug in an edible form, they may encounter seizures or become comatose because of the effects of the THC. Because of their relatively small size, smoking marijuana around pets can also cause mild to moderate signs of intoxication.

It’s at this point that any amusement around dogs encountering the drug usually wears off. The fact that our pets are unwilling participants means it can create an incredibly confusing and unpleasant time for them. So you do you. Just don’t do this to your dog…

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