Now that Canada has legalized the use of marijuana, as responsible pet owners, it’s time to reflect on how this affects our pets. While generally considered relatively harmless to humans, marijuana is not so forgiving to our pets. Pets can be exposed to marijuana as second-hand smoke, ingesting marijuana-laden treats, or even eating the stash itself. While usually not life-threatening, marijuana toxicity in pets is a serious concern.
Dangers of Marijuana Intoxication for Pets
The severity of the poisoning depends on the size of the dose. In mild cases, your pet may experience:
- Sedation, lethargy
- Dilated pupils
- Glassed-over eyes
- Dazed expression
- Incoordination and difficulty walking
- Excessive drooling
- Drop in body temperature
In severe cases, your pet may experience:
- Tremors or seizures
- In rare cases, death
Treating Marijuana Toxicity in Pets
If your pet exhibits any of the symptoms above, get them to us, or a 24/7 emergency clinic immediately. The only way to relieve your pet of symptoms is to get the marijuana out of their system. If they’ve just recently swallowed a few weed brownies, we may be able to induce vomiting and get it out before the drug is absorbed. If, however, they’ve already absorbed most of the marijuana, we can only try to manage the symptoms until the effects wear off. Supportive care could include:
- Medications to regular their heart rate
- IV fluids to keep them hydrated since they may have no desire to drink
- Anti-anxiety medications to minimize stress
- Confining them to a safe, comfortable space so they can’t injure themselves due to disorientation
How to Enjoy Marijuana Without Risking Your Pet
Whenever you decide to use marijuana, make sure any weed-laden foods and the drug itself are well out of your pet’s reach. If you are smoking marijuana, make sure you remove your pet from the room and place them in a well-ventilated area. You can allow them back into the room with you once most of the smoke has cleared.
Should you have any questions or concerns about marijuana toxicity in pets, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’ll be happy to chat with you about it!