With the increasing legalization of marijuana, veterinary emergency rooms are reporting a rise in marijuana toxicosis cases. This condition, primarily affecting dogs and cats, is typically caused by ingestion, though inhalation of marijuana smoke can also trigger clinical signs. Interestingly, dogs are more prone to marijuana toxicosis than cats.
The symptoms of marijuana toxicosis can be severe. Pets may experience a dramatically low heart rate and become so sedate that they are unable to swallow or stand. In extreme cases, pets could slip into a coma within hours of ingestion. As such, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. Dr. Tonozzi emphasizes the importance of rapid evaluation and ongoing medical monitoring in a veterinary facility.
THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is known to be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. With easier access to medicinal and recreational marijuana products, there’s a noticeable uptick in marijuana poisoning cases in these animals.
Aside from marijuana, pets also face other dangers like glyphosate exposure, an herbicide harmful to broadleaf plants and grasses. Canine communication is another critical aspect to consider, as a dog’s body language, like a moving tail, stiff body, or crouched position, can indicate their emotional state.
Foxtails, a type of spiked seed head found on plants, pose another risk to pets, especially during summer when they dry out and harden. These can cause infections and abscesses, requiring immediate removal. In the unfortunate event of a pet being skunked, rinsing the eyes with cool water and using a specific mixture to cleanse the skunked area is advised.
The College of Marijuana Toxicosis in Pets | Cummings School of Veterinary MedicineMarijuana Toxicosis | Animal Health Topics / School of Veterinary MedicineMarijuana and Pets | Veterinary Medicine at IllinoisCanines and Cannabis
It’s important to note that while these issues are serious, not all pets exposed to marijuana or other hazards will experience severe reactions. However, the potential risks underscore the need for pet owners to be vigilant and seek professional advice in case of exposure.