Keep pot away from pets

February 8, 2018 by Jeanette Neufeld, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Kevin Cosford, a specialist in small animal medicine at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre. Credit: Christina Weese

If you suspect your pet has ingested marijuana, whether in the form of an "edible" or the plant itself, it's important to be upfront with your veterinarian about what has happened.

This will allow them to avoid more extensive—and expensive—tests and treatments that are unnecessary once they know what's causing the clinical signs.

"Disclosing means less money is spent … and the appropriate care can be given," said Dr. Kevin Cosford, a board-certified specialist in small animal internal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

According to the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, the organization that regulates the province's veterinarians, a client telling their a pet has been poisoned by marijuana would not be sufficient reason to report the client to the police.

"Our goal is to take care of the pet," said Cosford.

It's also important to disclose what happened because the signs of marijuana toxicity can mimic other conditions, such as when a pet ingests antifreeze (). Both issues cause the pet to appear drunk, stumbling and unco-ordinated.

"We need to know the difference because they are treated very differently," said Cosford.

As the Canadian government moves toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use and human doctors prescribe it for medicinal use, veterinarians are seeing an upswing in marijuana-related cases.

"I would say that we probably see one to two suspected cases a week here now, whereas before it was kind of a rarity. It was, 'Oh, the dog got into the marijuana,' and everybody came to see what a dog that consumed looked like. Now we see them all the time. It has become common," said Cosford.

Explore further: Recent study in Oregon reveals public considers alcohol more harmful than marijuana

Related Stories

Puerto Rico enacts medicinal marijuana law

July 10, 2017

The depleted government coffers of bankrupt Puerto Rico will take in $50 million a month now that a law allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has taken effect, the governor said.

Study finds up to one-quarter of cancer patients use marijuana

September 25, 2017

A new study conducted in a cancer center in a state with legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana found that approximately one-quarter of surveyed patients used marijuana in the past year, mostly for physical and psychological ...

Recommended for you

Sightings, satellites help track mysterious ocean giant

August 19, 2018

The sight of a basking shark's brooding silhouette gliding through the waters off western France is more than just a rare treat for sailors—it is a boon for scientists trying to trace its secretive migrations across the ...

Pigs form a visual concept of human faces

August 17, 2018

Contrary to previous studies, pigs appear to have better visual discrimination abilities than had previously been assumed. Cognition researchers from the Messerli Research Institute showed in a new study that pigs not only ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.