MAY 12, 2022 8:00 PM PDT

Pet Cannabis Poisoning is on the Rise

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

An analysis of surveys completed by veterinarians indicated an increasing number of pet cannabis poisonings was recently published in PLOS ONE. The findings corroborate the spike in poisoning calls received by the Animal Poison Control Center and Pet Poison Helpline. Cannabis-induced toxicosis rates are higher for dogs, but cats and other domestic pets have ingested cannabis and become ill. The research study focused on frequency, diagnostic criteria, clinical signs, and prognoses by analyzing the 251 survey responses of North American veterinarians. Pet poisoning incidents have jumped in Canada and the United States since 2018. The most common route of exposure was ingestion, and oftentimes the pet owner left cannabis product unattended in an accessible place. 

Signs of pet cannabis poisoning can happen quickly and can be observed within 30-90 minutes of ingestion. Some signs include disorientation, listlessness, clumsiness, urinary incontinence, lowered heart rate, and nausea and vomiting. According to veterinarian consultant Sara Ochoa, “It is best to go to your veterinarian, especially if it was a large amount [of marijuana] or a small dog…The earlier you seek veterinary attention, the better.” Immediate veterinary attention can minimize unpleasant physical symptoms or potentially prevent long term neurological damage.   

The survey of veterinarians indicated key outcomes about preventative education, safety precautions in the home, and the efficacy of the recovery treatments used. Survey responses reported that most of the pets had mild to moderate symptoms, received outpatient treatment and recovered completely. In the small number of fatal cases, veterinarians noted that the deaths may have been caused by other preexisting health complications or old age. Another possibility is that an edible may contain another toxic ingredient such as chocolate. 

This study highlights the importance of researching the effects of cannabis on animals in order to understand mechanisms involved in cannabis absorption and discover more effective veterinary interventions for pet poisonings. It also is a valuable reminder to keep pets safe by engaging in responsible cannabis use and storage. Pet owners who would like more information on cannabis-induced toxicity and guidance on handling a potential poisoning can call Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Sources:

Miami Herald, PLOS ONE

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
MAY 07, 2022
Neuroscience
Learning From Our Mistakes, With These Neurons
MAY 07, 2022
Learning From Our Mistakes, With These Neurons
People can hone skills by practicing, and as that happens, our brains are able to recognize the mistakes we're makin ...
MAY 12, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
How Diet & Gut Microbes Can Combine to Cause Depression
MAY 12, 2022
How Diet & Gut Microbes Can Combine to Cause Depression
Proline is an amino acid that is required for a variety of essential functions. Researchers have now found that proline ...
MAY 17, 2022
Health & Medicine
JAMA Reports US Nursing Home Industry Needs Fundamental Overhaul
MAY 17, 2022
JAMA Reports US Nursing Home Industry Needs Fundamental Overhaul
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicin ...
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
MAY 20, 2022
Drug Shows Promise in treating Spinal Cord Injury
A drug developed by AstraZeneca preserves 80% of nerve function following spinal cord compression injury. The correspond ...
MAY 25, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology: What is it, and how is it used?
MAY 25, 2022
Molecular Biology: What is it, and how is it used?
The words “molecular biology” might sound intimidating to most, but it’s not quite as bad as you think ...
MAY 23, 2022
Neuroscience
Cerebrospinal Fluid From Young Mice Improved Memory in Old Mice
MAY 23, 2022
Cerebrospinal Fluid From Young Mice Improved Memory in Old Mice
As many as one quarter of all adults over the age of 60 experience age-related cognitive decline. This cognitive decline ...
Loading Comments...