With the legalization of cannabis in parts of the United States, we have seen an increase in marijuana poisoning in our patients. Recreational and medical cannabis is available in a wide range of products such as smokables, oils, and edibles, which can increase the chance of pet exposure. Many people may not realize that prescription medical cannabis products contain not only the CBD (cannabidiol) but a high level of THC which is harmful to pets.
Dogs are attracted to these products and tend to be able to sniff them out and consume them. Dogs are more sensitive to the psychotropic effects of THC than people. Consumption is the typical cause of intoxication but second-hand smoke can affect animals as well. Signs of poisoning can include incoordination, disorientation, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, drooling and dribbling urine. In severe cases, seizures, tremors, coma, and death can be seen.
If your pet is showing signs of poisoning, it is important to get them immediate medical care and inform your veterinarian if you think your pet has consumed cannabis. A quick diagnosis may save money on your vet bill, and more importantly, may save your pet’s life.