LEGALIZED POT: Increased incidence of poisoning in dogs


Now that medical marijuana is becoming more accessible in NYS, and even recreational marijuana elsewhere, it is time to focus on protecting out per (and other) dogs from accidental exposure. As we all know, dogs will often raid trash or even steal from tabletops, kitchen counters, open hand bags ect; in California, where medical marijuana has been legal for a few years, veterinarians have noted a dramatic increase in poisoning from purloined pot stashes.

Symptoms in dogs range from depression to vomiting and incoordination. Severe poisoning can result in seizures, or even a coma, and symptoms can last for 24-72 hours. Cannabis butter seems to be the most toxic form of the product, and has resulted in fatal outcomes. Affected dogs need emergency care to decontaminate the stomach and intestines, and provide I/v fluid support, maybe anti convulsants.

There are websites that advocate providing calculated doses of marijuana for dogs as a means of pain control. Dogs do not metabolize the drug in the same way that people do, and there is no evidence that they receive and benefit or relief of suffering. In any event, the main thing is to protect your dog from accidental overdose through access to marijuana in garbage or elsewhere. As it becomes legal, keep it away from your beagle!

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