Yes, pot really can kill your pet

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As long as it exists, it will cause controversy. Is it a gateway drug or a cure for all that ails us? Should it be legalized — or not?

One thing is for sure. Marijuana might not kill you. But it can kill your dog.

Finn’s brush with death

According to published reports, Finn, a boxer-blue heeler mix almost died after eating a cookie that had marijuana in it.

Apparently the pup inadvertently got a hold of the pot-laced pastry at a party a few months back. His owner, Candace Braden, found him in obvious medical distress the next morning and rushed him to the vet.

“I was pretty much having a nervous breakdown,” Braden told the media. “It’s really scary to see your baby like that.”

Fortunately, the vets were able to induce vomiting, and Finn made a full recovery.

Large doses are lethal, fatalities are rare

According to media accounts, large amounts of marijuana are lethal for dogs because of the way the drug affects them.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

“The lethargy and fogginess that might make a pot brownie fun for a human can render a dog incapable of basic functions. In rare cases … a dog can undergo gradual paralysis and die,” according to published reports.

Even so, fatalities are uncommon. And in some cases, when it is administered properly, medical marijuana can help dogs and cats that are suffering from certain ailments.

However, and this is important, the medical marijuana created and prescribed by some vets has a different chemical composition than “ordinary” marijuana. Specifically, it has less THC, the agent that causes the “high” in both people and animals.

Better safe than sorry

As we all know, medical marijuana can help people, too.

But the bottom line is that our pets often have a knack for getting into trouble. Hell, my cat, Healsie, ate rubber snake once. And Eli would eat an entire spider plant if I let him. So I guess it’s a good thing we don’t live in Colorado.

According to published reports, “veterinarians at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation, about 60 miles north of Denver, see between five and 10 cases per week of marijuana toxicity in dogs.”

The Colorado media also “cited a 2012 study in which researchers found a positive correlation between marijuana toxicity cases in dogs and medical marijuana licenses in the state.”

No matter where you live, if you have pets, please safeguard all of your medication. And if you choose to use marijuana for other reasons, make sure you keep it somewhere out of Fluffy or Fido’s reach.

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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