A dog owner in Colorado urges marijuana users to be more careful with their weed after an incident with pot-laced food that sickened her Golden Retriever.
Patty Moore contacted a veterinarian after her dog, Chance, started to act strange. She said that her 10-year-old pet could not stand to eat, as if the dog's legs did not work at all.
Dog Likely Ingested Food Laced With Marijuana
She later learned from the veterinarian that the dog likely ingested marijuana as indicated by some telltale signs that include the animal appearing drunk, depressed, and stupefied for seemingly no reason at all.
Moore said that she brought her dog on a walk in Denver's Highlands neighborhood park just a few days after the 4/20 pro-marijuana rally, where she believes her dog may have eaten or licked a THC-laced edible such as a brownie or a cookie.
THC In Marijuana Is Toxic To Animals
Unlike humans, animals do not get high when they are under the influence of pot. The cannabis plant has dozens of cannabinoids, which include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The THC contains psychoactive properties responsible for making people feel high. Unfortunately, THC is toxic to animals.
"Marijuana is considered a toxin to pets, and there are no recommended uses," the Humane Society of Boulder Valley wrote in a report. "Some animals become highly agitated from marijuana, while others exhibit signs of depression. There have been studies that show THC may have antiseizure effects, while other studies indicate THC may provoke seizures."
Help From Dog Owners And Veterinarians
Allison Jenkins, of the Highlands Animal Clinic, said that dogs that ingest marijuana can be affected for several days. Veterinarians may help induce vomiting in the animal if the condition is identified early. Otherwise, pet owners can only provide supportive care.
Although pets can quickly overcome the symptoms, there have been several deadly cases of animals that accidentally ate highly concentrated marijuana-laced food. Fortunately, Chance fully recovered.
It appears that Chance's case is not remote at all. Since Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012, which was followed by dispensaries opening two years later, veterinarians have reported a rise in the incidences of pets, mostly dogs, that have gotten into people's stash.
Signs Of Marijuana Poisoning In Pets To Watch Out For
The Pet Poison Helpline, which has seen a 200 percent increase in marijuana toxicity cases, said dogs and cats can be poisoned by cannabis from secondhand smoke exposure or direct ingestion of food laced with THC. It also cited signs that pet owners should watch out for.
"In dogs and cats poisoned by marijuana, clinical signs can be seen within 3 hours, and include severe depression, walking as if drunk, lethargy, coma, low heart rate, low blood pressure, respiratory depression, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, vocalization and seizures. Vomiting is often seen with dogs despite the 'anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) qualities of THC," it said.
After the incident with her dog, Moore said that she wants pot users to be aware of how their habits may impact other people and animals.