Experts from Crossroads Animal Emergency, an emergency veterinarian service in Huntington Beach and Norwalk, recently discussed the dangers surrounding accidental ingestion of marijuana by pets and how owners can prevent poisoning. "Medical marijuana legalization has raised questions about how to keep pets safe from accidentally becoming sick by ingesting cannabis. The plant can be highly toxic and dangerous for both dogs and cats. However, there are steps an owner can take to prevent marijuana poisoning," note the emergency vets at Crossroads Animal Emergency. |
Every year, pets are brought to emergency veterinarians suffering from marijuana poisoning. To make matters worse, owners are sometimes reluctant to disclose the fact that the pet ingested the drug. "It is always best to focus on caring for the pet and supporting the owner; therefore, we encourage anyone whose pet has been accidentally exposed to marijuana to tell us immediately so that we can administer the proper treatment, no matter what the circumstances of the accident."
Accidental marijuana poisoning of pets statistically increases in most states where medical marijuana is legalized. As incidents of marijuana-related toxicity increase, it is very important for pet owners to recognize the signs and symptoms of marijuana exposure and to know what to do for their animals.
"The first and most important thing you can do for your pets is to secure all marijuana products, especially food containing marijuana, in pet-proof containers and store it out of reach," note Crossroads Animal Emergency vets. "Additionally, those who smoke marijuana should do so away from pets, as they can become ill from secondhand inhalation of smoke."
Animals exposed to marijuana usually show symptoms within 30 to 60 minutes. Victims may stumble while walking, become lethargic or hypersensitive, and lose control of urination. The smaller the animal, the more severe the symptoms may be. Serious poisonings can result in seizures or even death.
Emergency veterinarians warn pet owners to watch for vomiting, glassy eyes, dilated pupils, stumbling, agitation and extreme drowsiness as well as trembling or seizures. The experts at Crossroads Animal Hospital advise that owners should not try to induce vomiting, as animals may be too lethargic to control their breathing and could aspirate vomit, leading to choking. Instead, they should take any animal that they suspect has inhaled or ingested marijuana to an emergency vet as soon as possible and disclose the possibility of marijuana toxicity immediately.
About Crossroads Animal Emergency:
With locations in both Norwalk and Huntington Beach, Crossroads Animal Emergency is a convenient and professional emergency veterinary service that can help dogs, cats and other pets who are sick or injured during non-traditional veterinary office hours. The team at Crossroads works with patients to ensure top-quality care and positive outcomes for every animal.
Bryan Buescher, Vice President of Operations
Crossroads Animal Emergency
Address: 18364 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA, 92648, USA
Phone: (714) 794-6900
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