Click here to learn more.
Marijuana exposure in pets, as reported to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Hotline, is becoming more frequent. Since 2009, calls reporting marijuana exposure have steadily risen by 50 percent. It is unknown if there truly is an increase in the number of animals who are exposed to the substance or if instead, with the recent legalization of marijuana for medical use in many states, people are just becoming more likely to admit that it has happened. Most reported cases in pets are due to the ingestion of marijuana plant materials or edibles, such as brownies and cookies, containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The most common side effects of marijuana intoxication are “drunkenness” (with pets appearing impaired and uncoordinated), sedation and urinary incontinence. THC and other cannabinoids affect the central nervous system, causing disruption of normal movement and behavior. However, about 25 percent of pets who ingest THC become stimulated instead — with agitation, vocalization and high heart rates as possible side effects. The most severely affected animals are typically the ones who have consumed marijuana edibles. These products can have very high levels of THC. There have even been some dog deaths reported after eating cookies or brownies made with marijuana butter because pets, unlike humans, think nothing of opportunistically wolfing down an entire pan of edibles.
While dogs are the most common pets to ingest marijuana, cats will eat the plant material. Because of their apparent lack of a sweet tooth, however, they are less likely to consume the more tempting edibles. After ingestion, pets can become affected in minutes to hours, and signs can last for hours.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
We talked to the Humane Society and the
ASPCA to get tips on what you can do to
help if you see a pet trapped in a…
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus breaks down the
similarities and differences in the ways
cancer can affect humans and animals
Begging on cue is an adorable trick in
which your dog balances on his rear and
hind legs with his upper body upright.
The Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and
intelligent red and white Dutch retriever
who was bred to lure ducks into a…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.