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When Pets Get the Munchies

Marijuana use is on the rise, and the number of people partaking in the use of marijuana will continue to rise as its use becomes legal in Canada in July 2018. While marijuana use is considered safe in humans, it can be quite dangerous for our furry companions.

As the use of the substance becomes prevalent in Canadian households, marijuana ingestion in dogs and cats will occur more frequently. Although the title of this blog is meant to be silly, marijuana ingestion is no laughing matter in dogs and cats.

Dogs and cats have very strong sense of smell, and they will actively seek out marijuana to eat because it tastes good to them. We primarily see cases where dogs have ingested marijuana, but cats can be affected as well. Symptoms of ingestion can manifest a few minutes to a few hours after the pet has eaten the product. The effects of marijuana can last for a few hours to a few days after ingestion.

Mild cases of marijuana ingestion cause lethargy (sleepiness), behavioural changes and exaggerated reactions to visual and auditory stimuli. More severe cases cause ataxia (unbalanced walking), drooling, urinary incontinence, diarrhea, vocalization, diarrhea, anorexia and vomiting. Much more severe symptoms such as hypotension (low blood pressure), hypothermia (low body temperature), coma and death can also be seen in severe cases of marijuana ingestion. A video of a dog who has ingested marijuana can be seen at VeterinaryPracticeNews.com/MarijuanaToxicity

Luckily, most patients will recover from marijuana ingestion with proper treatment. Treatment typically involves hospitalization, stopping any vomiting, intravenous fluids and administration of activated charcoal to reduce the absorption of marijuana through the gastrointestinal tract. If the pet is hypothermic, warming measures are taken to stabilize the pet’s body temperature.

If your pet does accidentally ingest marijuana, seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible. The veterinarian will ask lots of questions to get an accurate history to achieve a diagnosis promptly. Be honest with the veterinarian that marijuana ingestion is possible — the veterinarian is bound by rules of confidentiality and will not release any information to any outside person or organization. Being honest about the marijuana possibility, allows the veterinarian to get a diagnosis much sooner and your pet will get treatment much faster.

Keeping marijuana away from your pet is the best way to prevent ingestion. Keep it in a “pet safe” container out of the reach of the pet is a good way to avoid the problem. Any butts should also be discarded in a pet- safe container — dogs and cats will have no problem rooting around in the garbage to get to something that smells tasty. Any food stuff containing marijuana should never be left out in the open, and any leftovers should be discarded safely. Being pet and pot safe is the best answer to avoid an unexpected trip to the veterinary hospital.

Written by Cambrian Animal Hosptial

Category:

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Rescue Dogs: Overcoming Unwanted Behaviours

Since the COVID pandemic has arrived in Canada (and around the world), we have seen a spike in pet adoptions. This is an amazing thing – for the new pet owner and for the pet.  However, one of the other spikes we see on an almost daily basis at the hospital is the need for new owner to attach “a story” to their pet's behaviours – particularly in the instance of “rescue” dogs.  In rescue situations, many of the dogs arrive with unknown histories and many of the dogs demonstrate specific or generalized fear and anxiety.

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Last updated: December 22, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, 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. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8 am - 6 pm
Wednesday: 8 am - 7 pm
Friday: 8 am - 4 pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


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 Cambrian Animal Hospital