Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs
Over the last month, we have seen quite a few cases of marijuana toxicity. Patients are uncoordinated, wobbly, and have dilated pupils. They often dribble urine and seem ‘dazed’. Their body temperatures are slightly below normal. These clinical signs can be similar to antifreeze toxicity, so it is important to check lab-work to differentiate.
Exposure is often from ingestion of edible products which have marijuana in it, or from the owner’s stash. The last two cases we diagnosed had been off-leash at the park, nosing around under picnic benches or in bushes. It can be challenging to determine the dose ingested under these circumstances. Most cases of mild exposure will respond well to keeping them warm and allowing the effects to wear off. If the dose is higher, concern for dehydration goes up as they continue to dribble urine and are too ‘dazed’ to drink water on their own. These cases require hospitalization to support their hydration. THC distributes in the fat, may take longer for the effects to wear off in some patients. Good supportive care during that time is important.
If you suspect that your dog has had exposure to marijuana, call us at 503-579-3300 and seek veterinary evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and determine the proper level of supportive care necessary. If you know for sure that your dog ingested marijuana, don’t be shy about it. Fess-up right away so that we can help most effectively.