Now that both medical and recreational marijuana is legal we have been seeing a major increase in the number of pets who have ingested it. It is actually one of the most common toxicities we see. here is some helpful information on what to do and know if your pet should happen into your stash. Please keep in mind that we are not here to play police and we do not judge, we simply need you to tell us how much, when, and in what form so we may treat your pet to the best of our ability.
Edibles:Marijuana can come in many forms. As we know dogs are not very particular about what they eat. Sometimes it is not just the marijuana that can cause a problem.
Brownies/Cookies: Chocolate can also be toxic to dogs in higher doses. It can cause hyper-excitabilty, panting, tremors, seizures, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Oils/Butters: Depending on the oil it is mixed with it can cause major stomach and intestinal upset resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. It also can cause inflammation of the pancreas which can be very serious.
Common Signs of Marijuana Ingestion: At first you may not notice anything. Signs start to develop in as little as 1-3 hours and can last for up to 72 hours. As the marijuana starts to have an effect on your pet, you may notice that they are very unsteady on their feet. Often times they will become very quiet or sedated and have a hard time getting up and moving around. They may squint and be very sensitive to noises and movements, especially near their faces. Another side effect owners often see is that their pet may leak urine or seem to have no control over their urination. It also can cause a potentially serious drop in their heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Often times they may also drool excessively and vomit. Although it is rare, very large ingestions can potentially cause seizures, coma, and death
What to do: If the ingestion was within the last 2 hours, and your dog is awake and responsive, you should induce vomiting. This can be done with hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon orally per 20lbs. If they are not very responsive, do not induce vomiting as this can cause them to aspirate the vomit.
If they are showing signs of ingestion they should be seen. Often we will do a dose of activated charcoal to help eliminate the marijuana from their system. Depending on how much they ingested, what form it was in, or how big your pet is; we may recommend treating with IV fluids, hospitalization, and medications to help with heart rate and nausea.. If the ingestion was minor we may recommend keeping a close eye on your pet at home. With supportive care, helping them up and outside, and maintaining body temp, most pets can recover on their own.
Pet Poison Helpline: 1-855-764-7661
ASPCA Poison Control: 1-888-426-4435