Pet Owners

Marijuana Toxicity

By February 7, 2023No Comments

Marijuana and products containing marijuana or its active ingredient THC have become increasingly common as more states recognize the medicinal benefits it offers and either legalize or decriminalize its sale or use. The widening availability of marijuana has led to a corresponding rise of cases reported to poison control centers of marijuana toxicity in pets. The Veterinary Emergency Referral Center of Norman, OK, wants pet owners to be aware of the dangers of marijuana toxicity in cats and dogs and how to prevent it from happening.

Symptoms Of Marijuana Toxicity In Pets

 Some of the signs of marijuana toxicity in pets are the same as they are in humans. In other words, they experience a ‘high’ from ingesting it. They can act dazed, confused, and disoriented, and may have trouble walking and staying on their feet. Other symptoms can include:

  • Dilated pupils and glassy eyes
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Incontinence
  • Increased heart rate and body temperature

Other effects can be more serious, including tremors, extreme seizures, and coma. In severe cases, marijuana toxicity in cats and dogs can be fatal, although this is very rare.

How Is Marijuana Ingested By Pets?

Being in a room where marijuana is being smoked can cause pets to display the symptoms of being ‘high’, though this exposure is unlikely to lead to serious effects. More dangerous are ‘edibles’ made with concentrated marijuana, such as candy, brownies, and chocolates. These are highly attractive to pets, and ingesting them also exposes them to the danger of chocolate poisoning. But the most common way that cats and dogs ingest large amounts of marijuana is simply by eating the dried leaves and buds of the plant. It’s important to keep marijuana in all its forms away from your pets.

Treatment Of Marijuana Toxicity In Pets

When you take your pet to your veterinarian for suspected THC poisoning, your vet will want to know exactly what was ingested and the amount. A urine test can be performed to determine the level of toxins and THC in their system. They may decide to give them fluids or medications to help regulate their body temperature and heart rate. Other treatments may include induced vomiting, stomach pumping, or doses of activated charcoal to eliminate toxins from their body. Rest and close supervision to prevent them from hurting themselves will be necessary until the effects of the marijuana wear off.

 Contact the Veterinary Emergency Referral Center in Norman, OK, for more information or to schedule an appointment.