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Marijuana Ingestion in Dogs

With the recent legalization in marijuana, we are expecting to see a rise in accidental ingestion of it. It can be very harmful to your pup! If your dog accidentally eats cannabis, please bring them to a vet as soon as you can.

How does a dog get high?

  • Ingesting the marijuana directly
  • Buds, leaves, joint butts
  • Swallowing food laced with it; edibles
  • Cookies, brownies, candy
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Being in the same room as someone smoking

Once ingested the dog can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours to be affected. The most common time of effect is 1 to 3 hours after exposure.

Signs to look for:

  • Lethargy
  • Quieter than usual. Not as active, sleeping
  • Ataxia
  • Back legs crossing, can’t walk well
  • Disorientation
  • Seems dizzy
  • Behavioural changes
  • Acting out or abnormally
  • Hypoventilation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Hyper-salivation and vomiting
  • Drooling excessively and vomiting
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Dribbling urine uncontrollably
  • Seizures
  • Bradycardia/Tachycardia
  • Slowed or fastened heart rate
  • Hyperesthesia
  • Very reactive to sounds, movement and or touch

Please be very careful with how you store your marijuana. Dogs are very curious, and this can get them in trouble. Also, be careful when out for walks with your dog. People tend to drop their joint butts on the ground, and your pet could ingest them.

If you think that your dog has eaten anything containing marijuana, please call us and bring him/her into the clinic as soon as possible.

It is important, to be honest with your veterinarian. Please tell your vet if your pet has ingested any substances, legal or not.

Written By: Sam Miller, ACA

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