Does Fluffy have the Munchies? Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs
By Audrey Guida, DVM
Marijuana toxicity is becoming a more common problem in veterinary medicine nowadays. Marijuana (also known as weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope, mary jane, etc) consists of the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis). It is a Schedule I controlled substance.
Marijuana toxicity occurs when your dog accidentally ingests any marijuana plant material or marijuana edibles. Sometimes mild intoxications can occur from second-hand smoke alone.
If a dog ingests marijuana, they can show signs such as lethargy, somnolence, hypothermia, wobbly when walking, low heart rate, tremors, vomiting, or dribbling urine. Your pet may also be very reactive to stimulus by jerking or jumping. In some severe cases, coma can occur.
If your dog ingests marijuana or edibles, they should be brought in to be evaluated right away. Standard treatment for ingestion of marijuana includes inducing vomiting (especially if your pet ingested edibles with any type of chocolate or raisins) and IV fluid therapy for several hours to flush out their system.
Hospitalization is usually necessary to monitor their body temperature, heart rate, and respiration. Prognosis with treatment is usually very good!! Sometimes full recovery can take several hours, even days.
Although marijuana ingestion typically has a good prognosis, it is very important to keep these products out of reach from your beloved pets. Especially potent products such as marijuana butter and any edibles made with chocolate or raisins, ingestion of either of those can be fatal!
If you have any questions about marijuana ingestion, the Pet Poison Helpline can be a good resource, along with your nearest open veterinary hospital. We do not report illegal or controlled drugs to the authorities, so please be honest with the medical staff. Our main focus is to give your pet the best care possible, so the sooner we know what your pet ingested, the sooner we can begin the appropriate treatment.