In my last post, I shared all of the reasons why it’s not a good idea to let your pets get a hold of your prescription and over the counter medication. As it turns out, it’s not a good idea to let them get a hold of your medical or recreation marijuana, either. In other words, pot and pets don’t mix.
What’s up, doc?
This is hardly breaking news. There have been lots of articles about this topic as more states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes. The latest of these is a recent Boston Herald article that cites statistics indicating that the number of marijuana-related calls to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 24-hour Poison Control Center was nearly nine times greater in 2018 than in 2008. As the article also notes, the number of calls to the center made by concerned Massachusetts pet owners also increased significantly over the 10-year period.
In fact, as one area veterinarian told the Herald, it is not unusual for the animal hospital where she works to treat 20 to 25 dogs for marijuana ingestion each month. The number of pooches treated there after ingesting the substance contained in brownies or some other sort of food, has increased significantly in recent years, the vet says.
Luckily for cat owners, felines aren’t as likely to eat marijuana-laced brownies and similar “treats” because they don’t like sweets as much as their canine counterparts, the veterinarian explains.
Symptoms and treatment
The good news for the veterinarians faced with treating dogs for marijuana ingestion is that owners are now being more open about the cause of their pets’ distress in states where marijuana is legal.
That’s important because it ensures prompt treatment for dogs with symptoms including:
- slow heart rate
The bad news is that depending on the amount of marijuana ingested, our pets can sometimes get pneumonia. Furthermore, marijuana-laced brownies or other chocolate “goodies” pose an even greater threat to dogs because chocolate is also poisonous for them. And sometimes, our pets don’t survive.
For those that do, treatment isn’t pleasant. It includes forced vomiting and the administration of intravenous fluids and charcoal to counteract the toxin over a few days.
A simple solution
Experts say there’s a very simple solution to this problem. Don’t leave your pot where your pets can get it. Sounds like good advice to me.