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Understanding Marijuana Toxicity in Pets: A Compassionate Guide


With the recent legalization of marijuana in Minnesota and many states across the U.S., it's important to navigate the potential risks and responsibilities that come with it, especially when it comes to our furry family members. Change can be both an exciting and challenging experience, and the legalization of marijuana is no exception. At Mission Animal Hospital, we're here not only to raise awareness about marijuana toxicity in pets but also to provide you with detailed guidance on what to do in case of ingestion. Let's delve into this essential topic with care and understanding for both pets and their owners.

When Curiosity Crosses Paths: Understanding Marijuana Toxicity


Pets, by nature, are curious beings, and sometimes their curiosity can lead them to unexpected places. Marijuana products containing the active ingredients THC and CBD, whether in the form of edibles, plants, or even secondhand smoke, pose a real danger to pets. It's important to recognize the symptoms of marijuana toxicity, which may include lethargy, incontinence, wobbliness, disorientation, and even seizures. Marijuana products with high concentrations of THC may be lethal.


Urgent Action: What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Marijuana


If you suspect that your pet has ingested marijuana, it's vital to act quickly. The first step is to remain calm. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic for guidance. It is important to be honest with them about what happened—they are not going to judge you, or think poorly of you. They just want to help your pet. They will ask you for important information, such as your pet's weight, the type of marijuana product ingested, and the time of ingestion. Oftentimes, your veterinarian will recommend a consultation with Pet Poison Helpline to develop an individualized treatment plan at the guidance of veterinary toxicologists. (The phone number for the Pet Poison Helpline is (855) 764-7661. The website is: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com.)


When you bring your pet to the veterinarian, they will assess the situation and may induce vomiting to remove the toxic substance. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your pet may also require intravenous fluids to help flush the toxin from their system and manage dehydration. In some cases, medications may be administered to control symptoms like seizures or excitation.


After treatment, your pet will be closely monitored by the veterinary team. Their heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and overall condition will be observed to ensure their well-being. It's crucial to follow your veterinarian's advice regarding any necessary follow-up care or medication.


Promoting Safe Spaces: Prevention is Key


Storing marijuana products securely, using childproof containers, and being mindful of where you partake can drastically reduce the risk of accidental pet exposure.


Change brings new challenges, but it also provides an opportunity for growth and education. By openly discussing these topics, we empower ourselves to make informed decisions for the well-being of our pets and our community.


The journey of marijuana legalization is one of evolution and adaptation. As responsible pet owners, we have a duty to protect our furry companions from potential harm, including marijuana toxicity. By acting swiftly, following veterinary guidance, and promoting pet-safe environments, we can ensure the health and happiness of our pets in this changing landscape.


This article was generated with some content from ChatGPT and created with the assistance of a veterinarian.


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