Recreational marijuana is legal in a handful of U.S. states, and many more have legalized medical marijuana. The increased presence of marijuana plants and pot edibles in the home has also led to a growing number of emergency veterinary visits and calls to pet poison control hotlines for marijuana toxicity issues in dogs and cats. In Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, Colorado State University’s Veterinary School has reported an increasing number of marijuana toxicity cases in pets.
CSU reports that the accidental ingestion of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can sicken and even kill pets. Ingestion of leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers, as well as the ingestion of products containing leaves or THC causes poisoning in pets…as does the inhalation of marijuana smoke.
Your pet can exhibit signs of poisoning in as little as 30 minutes after ingestion or exposure. Signs include central nervous system depression, loss of control of bodily movements, dilated pupils, increased sensitivity, tremors, urinary incontinence, and increased salivation.
Be sure to keep any and all marijuana products out of reach of curious pets to avoid accidental poisoning…and of course, never intentionally give your pet marijuana. What about the use of veterinary marijuana? While some people do advocate for veterinary marijuana in some cases, the American Veterinary Medical Association urges caution in the use of any alternative treatments for your pet. You can read more about this issue on the AVMA website HERE. To be safe, always talk to your vet before giving your dog or cat any type of drug.
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