Dazed and in Danger: What You Need to Know About Pot and Pets

Cannabis and pets - a dangerous combinationCalifornia has long led the way in the fight to legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, and other states are following suit. Proponents of the drug are understandably pleased by its growing acceptance in American culture, but the impact it’s had on our pets is far from positive.

At Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital, the health and safety of your furry friends is our top priority. Pot and pets don’t mix, and it’s important for pet owners to be aware of the dangers of marijuana toxicity in dogs and cats.

Pot and Pets

Marijuana users attain the desired effects thanks to a compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because pets’ bodies are much smaller than ours, ingesting even a small amount of marijuana or marijuana-based products can cause a significant adverse reaction.

Marijuana consumption in pets should be considered a pet poisoning emergency. Give us a call or bring your pet in to see us immediately if your pet has been exposed to marijuana, or they are exhibiting any of the following signs of marijuana toxicity:

  • Glassy eyes/dilated pupils
  • Stumbling/loss of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Urine incompetence/urine “dribbling”
  • Listlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excitement or agitation (in about 25% of pets)
  • Seizure
  • Muscle tremors
  • Coma

An Edible Fear

Ingestion of marijuana is the most common way pets are exposed to the drug. Marijuana-based edible items, such as butter, brownies, cookies, and candy, are of particular concern, as pets (especially dogs) are drawn to people food. Because many of these pot edibles contain other substances that can be poisonous to pets, such as chocolate, Xylitol, and nuts, they can present a double-whammy of toxicity.

Honesty Matters

If you are concerned that your pet may have come into contact with marijuana, please let us know right away. Helping your pet is our only concern. Withholding this important information can put your pet at risk by prolonging treatment, and it may create additional expense for you as we’d continue to perform testing in order to properly diagnose your pet.

Preventing Exposure

When it comes to pets, marijuana and marijuana edibles should be treated like any potentially toxic substance and stored out of reach. Never leave remnants in an open trash container or compost bin where pets may come across it, and make sure any coats, bags, or purses of guests who enter your home are in a closet or on a hook. Marijuana smoking should also be done in a separate room from pets, in order to minimize their contact with secondhand smoke.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the staff at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital with your questions regarding pot and pets.