Dangerous effects of cannabis and marijuana in dogs
Cannabis and marijuana is now legal for recreational use in Canada. This post will explore the effects of cannabis and marijuana and the potential effects in dogs.
As veterinarians, we expect to see a rise in pets accidentally ingesting cannabis or marijuana.
Firstly, let's differentiate CBD oil (Cannabidiol) and marijuana:
CBD - originates from the marijuana plant but contains little to no traces of THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that elicits the effects of being "high". CDC oil has been used to treat a variety of conditions in people. The natural medicine community does use CBD oil to treat similar conditions in pets, such as anxiety, appetite stimulation, inflammatory conditions and others. It must be noted that clinical trials of CBD oils in dogs do not yet exist and therefore we recommend to contact your veterinarian before administering CBD oil to your dog.
Marijuana/Cannabis - Contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and this ingredient is psychoactive and if your dog ingests this compound, potentially severe effects may occur. The good news is that it is rarely fatal. We will focus the rest of this article on the effects of THC in dogs so you may recognize the symptoms.
Typical side effects of marijuana ingest may include: - Ataxia (loss of coordination) - Depression/sedation - Increased urination - Vomiting - Tremors - Hypersalivation
If you witness your dog ingesting marijuana, in any form, we can induce vomiting so long as the ingestion has been within the last 1-2 hours. Some dogs however, will begin to absorb with in a very short period of time and inducing vomiting does not retrieve the material.
Treatment for marijuana toxicity is largely based on managing symptoms as there is no antidote. If severe, your veterinarian will likely recommend to place an intraveous (IV) catheter and begin administering IV medications to help your dog. Your veterinarian may also administer activated charcoal to help bind and limit further absorption.
If you are concerned about possible marijuana ingestion or if you have noticed your pet ingesting marijuana in any form, call you veterinarian right away in attempts to elicit vomiting and prevent absorption of the drug.