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Marijuana and Dogs: Understanding Toxicity and Recovery

Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs: Protect Your Furry Friend

As more states legalize cannabis, it’s becoming more common to hear stories of pets consuming this once-illicit drug. While it may be tempting to let your furry friend take part in your smoking sessions or share some edibles, it’s important to remember that marijuana can be toxic to dogs.

In this article, we’ll explore the types of cannabis that are toxic to dogs, the symptoms of cannabis toxicity, and how to treat it.

Types of Cannabis Toxic to Dogs

Dogs can become ill from ingesting or inhaling several different forms of cannabis. The most common types that can lead to toxicity include:

Fresh Plant: Dogs have been known to eat cannabis plants growing in gardens and outdoor areas.

They may dig up the roots, gnaw on the stems, or eat the leaves. Eating fresh cannabis can lead to mild or severe signs of toxicity, depending on the amount consumed.

Dried Plant: Marijuana buds can be ground and dried to create a smokable substance. Dogs may eat the dried plant material or ingest it with food.

Dried plant material can lead to GI upset, tremors, and seizures in dogs. Vaporizer Devices: These devices heat marijuana concentrates to produce a vapor that can be inhaled.

Some dogs may lick or chew on these devices if they come within their reach. Ingesting the concentrate can cause severe toxicity and can be fatal in some cases.

Edibles: Cannabis-infused edibles, such as brownies and gummies, can be particularly tempting to dogs. The high concentration of THC in these products can lead to severe toxicity and long-lasting effects.

Herbal Tea: While cannabis tea may not be as potent as other forms of cannabis, it can still lead to toxicity in dogs. It’s important to keep all cannabis products out of reach of your pets.

Compounded Medication: Some veterinarians may prescribe cannabis-based medication for certain ailments. However, these medications are formulated specifically for animals and should never be substituted with human medication or cannabis products.

Misusing these medications can lead to toxic side effects.

Symptoms of Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs

If you suspect your dog has ingested cannabis, it’s important to be aware of the potential symptoms of toxicity. The following symptoms may indicate that your dog has consumed too much cannabis:

Sedation: Dogs may become lethargic, uncoordinated, and have difficulty walking or standing.

Hyperactivity: Some dogs may become anxious, restless, and agitated. Dilated Pupils: If your dog’s pupils are large and do not shrink in response to light, it may indicate they have consumed cannabis.

Vomiting: Cannabis can irritate the digestive system and cause dogs to vomit. Salivation: Dogs may drool excessively due to the effects of cannabis.

Tremors: Ingesting marijuana can lead to muscle tremors and shaking in dogs. Seizures: Seizures can occur if the dog has ingested a large amount of cannabis.

Treatment of Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs

If you suspect your dog has consumed cannabis, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam, take blood work, and provide supportive care as needed.

Treatment may include:

IV Fluids: IV fluids can help hydrate the dog and flush out the toxins in their system. Medications: Sedatives and anti-nausea medications may be prescribed to manage the dog’s symptoms.

Stomach Pumping: In severe cases, the dog’s stomach may need to be pumped to remove the remaining cannabis products. Why is Cannabis Toxic to Dogs?

Cannabis contains several cannabinoids, including THC, that can be toxic to dogs. THC is a psychoactive substance that can cause changes in mood, memory, and coordination in dogs.

THC binds to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the brain, body, and nervous system. Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, making them more susceptible to the effects of THC.

Additionally, dogs can experience more dramatic effects from cannabis due to their smaller size and inability to metabolize THC as efficiently as humans can. Conclusion:

In conclusion, it’s important to keep all cannabis products out of reach of pets.

Dogs can become ill from ingesting or inhaling several forms of cannabis, including fresh and dried plant material, vaporizer devices, edibles, herbal tea, and compounded medication. Signs of cannabis toxicity in dogs can include sedation, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, vomiting, salivation, tremors, and seizures.

If you suspect your dog has consumed cannabis, seek veterinary care immediately. Cannabis contains several cannabinoids, including THC, which is toxic to dogs due to their smaller size and increased susceptibility to the effects of the drug.

Common Types of Cannabis and Their Effects on Dogs

As more states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, it’s important for pet owners to be aware of the different types of cannabis products and their potential effects on dogs. In this article, we’ll discuss four common types of cannabis – fresh and dried cannabis, vaporizer and electronic cigarette devices, edibles, and compounded medication, and how they can impact dogs.

Fresh and Dried Cannabis

Fresh and dried cannabis refers to the plant material itself and is typically smoked or ingested via pipe, bong, or rolled into a joint. Dogs may become ill if they ingest the plant material, specifically the leaves, stems, and buds of the cannabis plant.

This is because cannabis contains the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has a range of effects on the brain and nervous system. When dogs consume fresh or dried cannabis, they may experience symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures.

It’s important to keep all cannabis products out of reach of pets to avoid accidental ingestion.

Vaporizer and Electronic Cigarette Devices

Vaporizer and electronic cigarette devices heat cannabis concentrates to produce a vapor that can be inhaled. These products have become increasingly popular for their ease of use and discretion.

However, the inhalation of vaporized THC can also be harmful to dogs. Dogs that inhale secondhand smoke may exhibit symptoms such as lethargy, breathing difficulties, and even collapse.

It’s important to avoid smoking around your pets and keep all cannabis-related devices out of reach.

Edibles

Cannabis-infused edibles refer to food products that contain THC, and they can be particularly dangerous for pets due to their high concentration of THC.

Edibles can come in many forms including brownies, butter, gummies, and candies.

Dogs that consume edibles can experience severe symptoms such as ataxia, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, seizures. Dogs may be attracted to the sweet smell and taste of these products, so it’s important to keep all edibles and cannabis-related food products out of reach.

Compounded Medication

Some veterinarians may prescribe cannabis-based medications for certain conditions such as pain or anxiety. These medications are formulated specifically for animals and should never be substituted with human medication or cannabis products.

Despite being prescribed by a veterinarian, these medications can still lead to unwanted side effects if not used properly. It’s important to follow dosing instructions carefully and avoid administering these medications to pets without a prescription.

My Dog Ingested Marijuana. Now What?

If you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana in any form, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Time is of the essence, as the longer the THC stays in a pet’s system, the more serious the side effects can become.

Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam, take blood work, and may perform a urine test to determine the amount of THC in your pet’s system. If the pet is diagnosed with marijuana toxicity, treatment will depend on the type of exposure.

If the dog has ingested fresh or dried cannabis, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove some of the THC from the system. If the dog has ingested an edible, the veterinarian may have to monitor the dog for several hours or overnight to ensure their safety.

In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. If the dog has inhaled vaporized THC, treatment may include oxygen therapy, sedation, and monitoring of the dog’s respiratory system.

Pet Poison Helpline can provide emergency advice if you’re not sure what to do in the event of a marijuana ingestion. They can help guide you through the steps to take and determine if your pet needs to see a veterinarian.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, it’s important for pet owners to be aware of the potential risks of cannabis for their pets. Fresh and dried cannabis, vaporizer and electronic cigarette devices, edibles, and compounded medication can all pose a risk to dogs if ingested or inhaled.

If you suspect your pet has consumed any form of cannabis, seek veterinary care immediately. Time is of the essence in these situations, and delaying treatment can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms.

Be mindful of all cannabis products in your home, and keep them out of reach of your pets to ensure their safety.

Recovery from Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs

Cannabis toxicity in dogs can lead to mild to severe symptoms and can be fatal in some cases. Recovery from cannabis toxicity can vary depending on the type of exposure, the amount of THC ingested, and the dog’s overall health.

In this article, we’ll cover the recovery process for dogs who have been exposed to THC, prevention measures to help avoid toxicity, and ways to help your dog recover.

Fatal vs Non-Fatal Cases

Cannabis toxicity in dogs can lead to both fatal and non-fatal cases, with the severity often depending on the amount of THC ingested and any additional substances that may be present. For example, if a dog ingests edibles that contain xylitol or chocolate, their symptoms may be even more severe.

If the dog has ingested a large amount of THC and has not received veterinary care promptly, the toxicity can lead to organ failure and even death.

Storage of THC in Fat Cells

THC is stored in a dog’s fat cells and breaks down gradually over time. Depending on the amount of THC absorbed and the dog’s overall health, it can take anywhere from 24-72 hours for the THC to clear from their system.

This means that even if the dog appears to have recovered from cannabis toxicity, it’s important to monitor them closely for several days after the incident to ensure they don’t experience any long-lasting effects.

Prevention Measures

Prevention measures are the best way to avoid cannabis toxicity in dogs. The following measures can be taken to help ensure your pet’s safety:

– Keep all cannabis products, including edibles, out of reach of pets

– Store cannabis products in closed elevated cabinets or locked drawers

– Double check that the area where the cannabis is stored is secure when leaving the house or when guests are over.

In addition to these prevention measures, it’s important to know the common signs of cannabis toxicity in dogs to ensure prompt and effective treatment.

Ways to Help Your Dog Recover

If your dog has experienced cannabis toxicity, there are several things you can do to help them recover:

– Follow all veterinary instructions regarding medication and treatment

– Monitor their behavior for several days, even after they appear to have recovered

– Provide plenty of water and food to encourage hydration and help flush out any residual THC

– Keep your dog calm and avoid over-stimulating them during the recovery process. While it’s important to be vigilant and proactive in preventing cannabis toxicity in dogs, it’s important to remember that accidents can occur.

If you suspect your dog has ingested cannabis, seek veterinary care immediately. The sooner the dog is treated, the better their chance of a speedy recovery and reduced risk of fatal complications.

Recovery from cannabis toxicity in dogs can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the amount of THC ingested. However, with proper veterinary care, prevention measures, and attentive care during the recovery process, most dogs can make a full recovery and resume their normal activities.

In conclusion, cannabis toxicity in dogs is a serious issue that pet owners need to be aware of. Dogs can experience toxicity from ingestion or inhalation of cannabis products such as fresh and dried cannabis, vaporizer and electronic cigarette devices, edibles, and compounded medication.

THC is stored in fat cells and can take 24-72 hours to clear from a dog’s system, making it important to monitor dogs for several days after exposure. Prevention measures, such as keeping all cannabis products out of reach and stored in secure locations, can help reduce the risk of toxicity.

However, in the event of exposure, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately to ensure prompt and effective treatment. Overall, being informed about the risks of cannabis toxicity in dogs and taking the necessary steps to prevent or address exposure can help ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends.

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