Yo, what’s good? Name’s Dan and I’m here to tell all y’all pet owners out there not to freak out if your furry friend gets into your stash of Mary Jane. Most of the time, they’ll be fine, as long as they don’t eat too much and you take them straight to the vet. But just so you know, if you got dogs, you gotta be extra careful because over 95% of all pets who come into contact with cannabis are canines. Let me break it down for you.
First of all, you need to understand that weed is straight up toxic for pets. There are hundreds of chemicals and compounds in the plant, with THC being the most abundant. It’s the compound that causes that high in both humans and animals. Dogs are particularly sensitive to the effects of marijuana because their cerebellums and brain stems have a higher concentration of CB1 and CB2 receptors than humans do. These brain areas are responsible for respiratory rate, coordination, heart rate, and a bunch of other crucial mechanisms.
So what happens when your pet consumes weed? Well, they’ll start showing symptoms within an hour (or up to three hours if they eat edibles). About 25% of them become anxious and over-excited, while most become depressed and lethargic. THC is quickly absorbed into their bloodstream and around 30% of pets experience gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling. Since THC is fat-soluble, your pet could exhibit mild symptoms for several days. Other effects include slow heart rate, disorientation (your pet will stumble around like it’s drunk), dilated pupils, leaking urine, tremors, low body temperature, coma, and seizures.
But don’t panic if you don’t see any of these symptoms! Just take your pet to the vet ASAP if you know they consumed weed. Vets will perform a physical examination, including a urinalysis, bloodwork, and a biochemistry profile. The vet will also test your pet’s urine for cannabinoids. In serious cases, they may even perform a gas chromatography test.
If you get your pet to the vet within 30 minutes of ingestion, they can induce vomiting to remove the weed from their stomach. But if it’s been longer than 30 minutes, that’s too dangerous because a potentially deadly condition called aspiration pneumonia becomes more likely to occur. Depending on your pet’s level of exposure and reaction to the chemicals, the vet may attempt to ‘decontaminate’ them by providing medicine to stop vomiting, along with activated charcoal to limit additional THC absorption.
Your pet’s weight plays a role in toxicity levels, so their recovery depends on their level of exposure and the speed of treatment. In most cases, the effects last no more than a couple of days and aren’t permanent. But in rare cases, dogs that consume cannabis will show static ataxia symptoms, meaning they’ll have difficulty standing and seem rigid. If this happens, your dog needs immediate medical attention because it’s a potentially fatal condition if left untreated.
Look, we all love our pets and want them to be healthy and happy. So it’s important to be responsible when it comes to storing and using cannabis. Keep all marijuana products stored in sealed containers in cabinets far out of your pet’s reach. If possible, keep your containers in locked cabinets. Never leave your weed unattended when using it. Don’t leave any remnants in a compost bin or open trash container. And make sure to keep your pet in a separate room when you use your weed.
That’s all I got for y’all today. Just remember, if your furry friend gets into your stash, don’t panic! Take them straight to the vet and they’ll be okay! Peace out.