Cannabis and Your Pets

Pets & cannabis
Cannabis legalization has had significant consequences politically and socially, but often overlooked is the implications for our pets. While CBD products are now being marketed to our pets as a natural remedy for certain conditions such as joint pain, certain cannabis products can be fatal to our pets. Recently, Ontario has started regulating the sales of edible cannabis, which increases the risk for cannabis toxicity. With the potent drug being hidden within sweet, yummy, flavorful products, it is more likely your pet may unknowingly ingest a dangerous amount of cannabis. In fact, the Pet Poison Helpline has reported a 448% increase of cannabis ingestion cases over the past six years, demonstrating the escalating danger cannabis poses to our pets.
 
It is important to keep all cannabis products, both THC and CBD, securely away from your pets’ reach. In the case that your pet does ingest cannabis, take your pet to a veterinarian right away. Cannabis has much more drastic effects on pets than humans, so even a small amount can be a serious health risk.
 
 

Signs of Cannabis Toxicity

 
THC affects our neurological function and therefore the signs of cannabis toxicity we will see in pets is typically neurological. This includes depression, dilated pupils, urinary incontinence (i.e., urine leakage), tremors or lack of coordination, seizures and coma. Other symptoms can include salivation, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and vomiting.
 
 

Treatment for Cannabis Toxicity

 
Typically, pets who have cannabis toxicity will require hospitalization. Depending on when ingestion occurred, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the toxic material. Additionally, your veterinarian may give activated charcoal to help bind the THC, and to minimize absorption. also administer IV fluids to help flush out the toxin and maintain good blood pressure. Veterinarians will decided a treatment plan depending on the symptoms that appear. For example, your veterinarian may give anti-nausea medication if your pet is vomiting. Throughout the duration of hospitalization, your vet will monitor your pet’s blood pressure and temperature.
 
 

What About CBD Products for Pets?

 
CBD products, such as oil designed for animal use, may offer promising therapeutic effects if administered properly. However, it’s important to note that the therapeutic effects of CBD products for animals are currently poorly understood. While some veterinary professionals acknowledge the potential for CBD products to treat conditions like arthritis, anxiety, or chronic pain, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) does not endorse cannabis administration. The CVMA’s primary reason for this omission is the limited scope of research. With cannabis legalization in Canada, we require more studies to better understand its effects on pets. Stay updated on research and discuss with your veterinarian their perspective. If you have any questions regarding your pet’s health and cannabis products, we are happy to help!
 
Looking for a vet clinic in Newmarket / Aurora area? Give us a call at 905-898-1010 to book an appointment today at Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital!
 
 

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