Pet owners, it is 2019 and pot is legal and available to everyone: Do you know if your stash is protected from your fur babies?
According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, calls to the Veterinary Services Poison Helping have jumped by 448% in the past six years, as states have started to legalize recreational cannabis. Now that we’re legal in Canada, and vets are taking the events in the States as a warning, it’s time for us pet owners do the same. It’s each of our personal responsibility to protect our pets from a dose that could be lethal.
Dr. Ellen Kinzl, owner and operator of Liberty Village Animal Hospital has seen instances of pets consuming cannabis, and has some advice for pet owners. We spoke with her about what signs to look out for, and what to do if you think your pet has gotten in to your stash.
WDBX: How and why should pet owners take precautions to keep their cannabis stash safely out of paw’s reach?
Dr. Ellen Kinzl: Any cannabis should kept away at a higher surface and in a secure compartment to prevent your pet from accessing any of this. Marijuana is toxic to pets and depending on the amount ingested and the size of the pet can lead to a variety of clinical signs including neurological depression, disorientation, weakness, tremors, vomiting, a low heart rate, low blood pressure and seizures.
WDBX: What do you suggest people do if their cat or dog consumes some cannabis?
EK: If an owner sees their pet consume cannabis, seeking veterinary care with your family veterinarian or emergency clinic is the best measure. If a veterinarian is not easily accessible, we recommend contacting ASPCA Pet Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.
WDBX: What are some indications that a pet may have consumed cannabis?
EK: The typical signs that owners will initially notice with their pet is that they will often appear quite mentally depressed, they may be walking as if they appear “drunk,” they may be dribbling urine and they often are hypersensitive to touch and movement near their face.
WDBX: A lot of people are talking about how CBD could potentially benefit pets. Any specific suggestions you have for pet owners curious about CBD-infused pet products?
EK: At this time, we don’t have any specific research that indicates an appropriate dose and concentration to use in pets and there is not pet approved cannabis product available in Canada. While studies are currently in the works, it is best to hold off on use of cannabis in pets until we have more specific information available to use which hopefully will be in the near future.
Ever been in this situation? Share any personal insights that helped you at the time in the comments below.