Marijuana Toxicity in Pets

Marijuana Toxicity in Pets

With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, we thought we should mention how it affects your pet if they happen to find the “stash”. Thanks to the incredible nose on our canines and the curious felines, they can find those hidden gems if not properly locked up. 

 Now that some states in the U.S. are going through legalization, an article from Pet Poison Hotline stated  that “A veterinary study from Colorado published recently by the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care reported a four-fold increase in the number of dogs treated for marijuana intoxication between 2005 and  2010, following the legalization of medical marijuana in that state.”

  • This means that if marijuana is legalized in Canada, our pets will have one more toxic thing that they can find and get into
  • And yes, if you google marijuana and pets, there are articles on the benefits of it for some conditions (just like in humans) but we are going to go over when a pet accidently gets into it, and the toxic effects.

So, lets jump right in, and go over how taking a bite out of Mary-Jane can affect your pet.


How can my pet be exposed and how much is too much?

  • Pets can be exposed through inhalation of the smoke, and more often, through ingestion.
  •  Marijuana has a wide margin of safety, meaning that it can take a lot of it to cause a lethal dose. Even though it has a wide margin of safety, there are also different breeds and sizes of dogs; a Chihuahua, for example, will reach the lethal dose much quicker than a great dane.
  • Although it is rare, there have been recorded cases of deaths from ingesting too much marijuana.
  • If your pet ingests a marijuana brownie, then we also have the potential of chocolate poisoning

What are the signs of marijuana poisoning (signs begin 30-60 minutes after ingestion and can last 18-36 hours)

  • One of the most common signs is your pet acting “drunk” – uncoordinated and stumbling
  • Urinary incontinence – dribbling urine
  • Dilated/Glassy Eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Agitated and/or excited
    • More Serious Symptoms include:
      • Coma
      • Tremors
      • Seizures
      • Changes in Heart Rate

What is the treatment?

  • There is no antidote for marijuana poisoning, but we can do supportive care and treat the symptoms
  • IV fluids, temperature regulation, anti-nausea medication, activated charcoal to absorb the toxins, and anti-seizure medication.

We are always here for you and your pet. If you feel or know your pet has gotten into marijuana, please let us know. Although It is embarrassing, we are not here to judge you! In order for us to give proper treatment, we need to know exactly what your pet has gotten into.

For any questions or concerns, we are always a phone call away!



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