Veterinarians say they’re seeing an increasing number of dogs sickened after ingesting marijuana.
Vets are warning pet owners to take care as Canada prepares for cannabis legalization this year.
Dr. Jeff Goodall, a veterinarian who runs the Sunnyview Animal Centre in Bedford, N.S., said he’s seeing a growing number of dogs with marijuana toxicity.
“It profoundly affects the neurological system. It can progress to tremors and seizures, and they can go into a coma,” he said Tuesday.
He said the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in marijuana doesn’t make dogs high. Rather, it makes them very sick.
“The THCs are very toxic to pets in the sense that they cause profound levels of confusion, then the dogs start to cry or vocalize and become hyperactive. They get through that period fairly quickly and then they begin to drool and become unable to walk properly,” Goodall said.
“By the time they’re in the clinic it’s very clear that they have marijuana toxicity because the poor dogs have excessive or uncontrolled urination.”
In rare cases it can lead to death.
Goodall said in four of the five cases he saw last year, the owners were upfront about the cause of their dog’s illness and they were able to proceed quickly with treatment.
However, he said the owner in the fifth case was in denial.
“She was accusing us of accusing her children of using recreational medication, when that wasn’t what we were saying at all. We were just saying, this is what the dog has,” he said.
Goodall said cannabis edibles are also harmful to dogs.