Medical marijuana can be beneficial for your pet's health, as there are a number of studies that prove the effectiveness of cannabidiol (or CBD) in treating some animal diseases. Now, some cannabis dispensaries even offer CBD treatment for dogs or cats. However, while CBD does not have any psychoactive effect, another cannabis ingredient such as tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) may be life-threatening to your home animals.
Even if you do not purposefully give marijuana products to your pets, they can accidentally consume something infused with cannabis in case you left it anywhere on the dog level. If you notice that your pet had a THC-containing product, do not panic. First of all, determine what dose of cannabis your animal companion has consumed.
There is a list of marijuana types ranked from the least severe to the most severe for domestic animals. Check this list to determine the level of danger of the weed products your pet can accidentally swallow. Also pay attention to the THC content of your marijuana product, as its potency level is one of the most important factors in the severity of your pet's situation.
After you determine the dose of THC your animal has eaten, you should evaluate the symptoms of cannabis poisoning your pet experiences.
If the amount of marijuana is small, or THC dosage is low, most probably, your animal will have mild side effects, such as wobbling, sleepiness, slowness, or excessive saliva production.
More severe toxicity may lead to low blood pressure, seizures, urinary incontinence, slow heart rate, loss of bodily control, and even lethal outcome.
In order to save your pet from the worst consequences of cannabis poisoning, you should soak up your animal's stomach contents. Give your pet activated charcoal that can absorb toxins in your furry friend's stomach and prevent THC from penetrating into their bloodstream. However, you should not use activated charcoal in case you have already tried to induce vomiting.
If you give activated charcoal to your pet too late, it may not help, as THC has already been penetrated into your animal's bloodstream. In this case, you can try to induce vomiting by using one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of your animal. You can do it not more than three times with 15-minute intervals. Keep a close look on your pet's state, as hydrogen peroxide can lead to bloody stool or excessive vomiting. If you notice that this method does not help, you should seek professional help.
Ask for your veterinarian's advice if the above methods did not help or your pet consumed a large amount of marijuana. Honestly explain that your pet is intoxicated with cannabis so that the vet is informed about everything, from what kind of weed product your pet has consumed to how potent it was to how long it has been since cannabis was ingested. Try to be specific with details as much as possible.
Though there is a risk that marijuana can kill your animal, it may actually happen only in the case of a huge THC dose. Fortunately, you can prevent the negative consequences of cannabis toxicity with proper actions and care for your pets. Be careful and keep cannabis away from your furry friends next time!