Pot and Pooches

By Kim Barrett

With legalization on the horizon, pot talk is everywhere.  In addition to the effects legalization will have on people, there has also  been much discussion about the risks posed dogs to our doggy family. In a recent Facebook post, Tamarack Veterinary Clinic discussed the high occurrences of marijuana overdoses in Edmonton dogs. Coupled with increasing usage of cannabis oil in pets, vets expect recreational legalization to raise the instances of overdoses in pets even more.

As is the case in Colorado. A recent study in the state found cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs quadrupled after pot was legalized in the state. Once legalized, people have a tendency to be less careful about safety and storage. Edibles – particularly cookies, brownies, and candies – can be quite enticing to dogs. Dogs are superstars at quickly stealing food before their owner notices. (This is much less common with cats and they tend to be pickier eaters.)

What does ingestion or overdose look like in dogs? Decreased balance, “drunken sailor” walking, weakness, incontinence, disorientation, tremors and more depending on the amount eaten. In some cases it may cause seizures, coma or even death.

Pot can cause a dog to become ill very quickly as they are extremely sensitive to even small doses. If your pet ingests marijuana, bring them to the vet immediately and be honest. The more honest you are about what the animal ate, how much and when, the more your vet can help your pet. Veterinarians report that owners sometimes don’t want to admit what their dog ate due to the legality of the substance, but they need to know. The more information they have in a timely manner, the more successful they can be in combating toxicity.

Remember, dogs are very similar to toddlers. As pet parents it is our responsibility to keep our homes safe for them. Like cleaners, medications and other dangerous substances, always be mindful of keeping marijuana in a safe, non-accessible place.

Dogs overdosing on marijuana, veterinarian warns; http://www.cbc.ca/…/no…/marijuana-pets-nova-scotia-1.4467036

Hold onto your butts: Don’t let dogs get stoned on your leftover weed; https://www.popsci.com/marijuana-dogs-stoned

Marijuana making more dogs sick, veterinarians say; https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/marijuana-making-more-dogs-sic…