After the legalization of marijuana in some states, veterinarians around the country have more work to do. Clinics report an increased number of pets that have accidentally gotten high. Marijuana edibles are very appealing to our animals who cannot tell whether the treat is dangerous for them. Leaving your pot in a place that can be reached by your pet is irresponsible. However, many of us do not even think about the consequences.
Ahna Brutlar, an associate director of the animal poison control center in Minnesota, claims that during the last five years, the number of calls about pets using pot has risen by 330 percent. Most of the calls involve marijuana-infused edibles while almost all affected pets are dogs. Dogs are used to chewing everything they find—they are like hoovers. And if the thing they sniff is tasty, these animals will not stop at one cookie.
However, there are many cases that involve not only dogs and edibles. Veterinarians report cases of pets leaping in bong water and being exposed to vaping. Cats, rabbits, and even birds suffer from accidental cannabis consumption.
In the very first year of the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Oregon, the state's veterinary clinics reported a 63 percent increase in marijuana toxicity calls. Now, five years later, the number is even bigger. Last month, the owner of two beautiful shelties had to visit the clinic twice over a few days. First, one of her dogs, Kicker, ate a pot-infused candy lying around in a car. In a couple of days, her sister Star suffered from pot intoxication as well. Star is a prized dog that competes in agility shows. The accident not only affected the dog's health but also somewhat ruined her performance at the show.
This case is just one of many accidents that have been happening since the legalization. However, not all owners know what is good for their pets. There are many videos on YouTube that demonstrate how irresponsible and stupid people can behave regarding their pets. We are talking about those videos that show us stoned pets whose owners just want to experiment and see what happens to animals on weed.
Stoned pets look just like high people—somewhat lethargic, stony-eyed, teetering. In most cases, animals can just sleep the high off. Veterinarians say that cannabinoids are not the worst toxins that can affect animals. However, their concerns grow respectively to the increase of the products' potency. Marijuana edibles contain more and more THC with each passing day. Besides, they may also include chocolate, which can be deadly for dogs.
Marijuana consumption by animals can lead to vomiting, seizures, and change of heart rate. Usually, veterinarians suggest a night of detox and vomiting inducement. Sometimes, they prescribe anti-nausea and tremors medication. A few years ago, doctors would say that it was impossible for a pet to die from such an accident. Today, they are not so sure. When you have a small Chihuahua, the modern potent edibles can be fatal for the dog. Rusty, a three-pound Chihuahua, ate almost the whole pot brownie and could not fully recover for four days. The dog was lucky that the THC amount was not larger.
However, there is one upside of cannabis legalization. Now, people can freely admit what is wrong with the dog. Some even confess giving pot to their pets for medical purposes.
Veterinarians press on treating cannabis-infused products as any other potentially dangerous substances and keep them out of pets' reach.