Why is Marijuana Intoxication in Pets (Cats and Dogs) on the Rise? Is marijuana safe for pets?

By July 21 | See Comments

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Why is Marijuana Intoxication in Pets (Cats and Dogs) on the Rise? Is marijuana safe for pets?

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The use of marijuana is not new. Though still being categorized as an illegal drug, states such as Colorado and Washington have passed laws to regulate the production, sale, and consumption of marijuana. Moreover, researchers across the globe are studying the medical benefits of marijuana for humans. Although marijuana is believed to be an elixir for depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues, its long-term effects on health still stay a matter of debate.Both pet cats and dogs are not far from being subjected to marijuana after the passage of marijuana laws in certain states of the US. Pet owners have embraced marijuana to treat ailing pets, which has given rise to debates on its safety, especially for dogs. The increasing number of marijuana intoxication cases have raised questions whether or not pets should be given marijuana. However, in reality, marijuana does more harm than good for pets.

Why are pet owners using marijuana?

Pet owners tend to see the medical benefits of recreational marijuana in the same light as they are for humans. Many pet owners have sworn by the benefits of marijuana in lifting up the spirits of pets who are suffering from physical ailments. As states legalize marijuana for humans, more and more pet owners are switching to cannabis-based ointments, oils, edibles, and extracts for their furry friends. The reason: such products are marketed as a treatment for a number of issues, starting from anxiety and arthritis to seizures and cancer.Despite the lack of data that support marijuana's benefits, pet owners across states are convinced that it has improved their pet. However, certain states have barred veterinarians from prescribing marijuana to pet owners. Doing so may cost them their license because cannabis-based products aren't approved by FDA. As such, using marijuana for treating pets in such an unregulated scenario has contributed towards the rise in marijuana intoxication.

Signs of marijuana intoxication

Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a compound that affects several receptors in the brain and alters the functioning of neurotransmitters. Cats and dogs can be poisoned on passive exposure to marijuana. Direct injection of marijuana in the form of baked foods can also cause severe marijuana intoxication in pets. The signs of marijuana intoxication are seen within 3 hours of inhalation or consumption. Such signs include:

  • Groggy gait
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Low heart rate
  • Coma
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Moaning or groaning

If your cat or dog has consumed or inhaled marijuana and you see the above signs, you should rush to a veterinary care center near you. Doing so will prevent unwanted complications from arising. But before anything else, you should visit an expert before treating your pet with marijuana as an adherence to your local marijuana laws.

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