A new topic is entering the marijuana discussion — pot and pets.
Dr. Billy Griswold of the Emergency Animal Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, says veterinarians are seeing more and more animals eating marijuana. The vast majority of these pets are dogs.
According to Griswold, his clinic sees about 24 animals a month in emergency treatment for pot ingestion. That's two times the amount his clinic saw in 2013 and three times the amount they saw in 2012, the year marijuana was legalized in Arizona.
Similar findings are being reported in Colorado where Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald from VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital says cases of animals eating marijuana have grown from two to 15 a month since 2010. Colorado legalized pot in January of this year, so it's too soon to know if these numbers are related to legalization or not.
Animals that have ingested marijuana show many of the same symptoms as humans — sedation, panting, dilated eyes, hypersalivation, even an upset stomach. A key difference, though, is pets that eat pot don't appear to get the munchies.
Vets say that the most-common way dogs are ingesting weed is via pot-laced edibles, and these savory treats prove particularly unhealthy for animals. Dogs, for instance, should not be eating chocolate at all, so a chocolate pot brownie is double trouble.
Dogs also tend to overdo it on treats. Rather than just behaving like the humans they are not, dogs devour a counter of pot edibles in one sitting, ingesting a whole lot of tetrahydrocannabinol in the process. Since marijuana takes longer to exit the system of a dog than a human, this can be troublesome.
According to the report, marijuana is not toxic to animals. In fact, some vets espouse the benefits of medical marijuana treatment for animals. However, high levels of pot in animals can lead to seizures and even death. Synthetic marijuana, particularly, has been linked to fatalities and long-term complications. So, it seems this controversial topic extends beyond just humans. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below.
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