Adverse effects of cannabis on dogs


That you enjoy the effects of cannabis does not mean that your dog also likes it and, in addition, it is very bad for its health

Effects of cannabis on dogs. As cannabis is being legalized in many states, veterinarians are treating more cases of pets that have been intoxicated with the substance. But can dogs get high and what are the negative effects cannabis have on them?

There are many vets who have seen dogs that ate marijuana edibles. They get high, of course. But it doesn’t mean that pleases them.

Dr. Carly Fox, who is staff doctor at Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Service in New York City says that the consumption of cannabis is not usually fatal for our dogs. However, when we eat cannabis, we exactly know how much we had, which is something dogs don’t and very often they get quite sick.

Among the adverse effects we must highlight ataxia (loss of coordination), incontinence and hypersensitivity to touch and sounds. Their body temperature decreases and the heart rhythm can lower to extreme limits.

In most cases the dog recovers within 12 and 24 hours. When your dog eats cannabis, in most cases we cannot know how much it ate. Take it to the vet because induce vomiting could be too risky. It could cause aspiration, as it happens when food becomes stuck in our throat.

When it comes to cannabis edibles it is also important to know of other ingredients such as sugar or chocolate, which are very dangerous for dogs. If they too many cannabis edibles, besides getting too high, they will introduce in its body a lot of grease and fat that are very harmful for them. In addition, edibles take much longer to leave an animal’s organism because the THC in edibles is very concentrated.

Take your dog to the veterinarian

Some people feel scared about taking the dog to the vet because marijuana is illegal where they live. A well known vet named Dr. Fox, says she knows many cases and that never the vet has called the police.

If you take your dog to the vet within one or two hours after the animal ate the weed, the veterinarian can induce vomiting because the herb has not been absorbed. But if the dog shows the clear symptoms we mentioned above, the THC has already been digested and absorbed. Therefore, it’s too late to induce vomiting.

The vet will give your pet supportive care. Most probably the dog will be given intravenous fluids in order to dilute toxins. The vet can also perform a blood test to rule out other toxins and even metabolic or neurologic disorders.

In case the dog cannot stand up, it should be taken to the hospital. If its condition is very severe, the vet will probably inject an IV lipid or fat. THC is perfectly fat soluble and a fat injection will help absorb the cannabinoid.

Being THC a depressant that can decrease the gag reflex, it doesn’t allow the animal vomiting, which leads to respiratory troubles. In case lungs are damaged because of the inhaled vomit, it could take weeks for your peat to get well. And even worse, it could die.

Veterinarians recommend letting your dog at the clinic the whole night. But if you prefer to bring it home, pay a close attention to your pet and, above all, follow strictly the vet’s instructions. 

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