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Marijuana Ingestion

Pets consuming marijuana is on the rise; particularly dogs. This can be attributed to the fact that medical marijuana is being obtained more readily, and that it comes in multiple different forms including edibles.  Carelessly leaving these products in easily accessible locations leads to curious pets ingesting this potentially toxic substance.

Depending on the amount ingested, marijuana is considered to have a moderate to severe level of toxicity. Symptoms of ingestion are:

  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Acting “drunk.”
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low heart rate
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sensitivity to light or touch
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vomiting

Clinical signs usually appear anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes after ingestion or exposure and signs may last up to 72 hours. Various systems are affected; nervous, gastrointestinal, cardiac, and urinary.

Intoxication with marijuana appears clinically similar to other, more serious forms of poisoning. Because marijuana is a controlled substance, people are often reluctant to tell their veterinarian that their pet has consumed it.  It is always best to be honest with your veterinarian – veterinarians are not obligated to report this type of poisoning. Being honest with your vet will help them to properly treat your pet, as well as save you the expense of unnecessary testing.

There is no remedy to reverse the effects of marijuana – the best treatment is supportive care.  Activated charcoal can be given to absorb some of the toxins. IV fluids, anti-vomiting medication, temperature regulation, and controlling seizures or tremors are all involved in supportive care.

Written by CCR Kylie

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective September 28th, 2020 we have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

5. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic