Worried About Dog Marijuana Intoxication?
Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Florida. This does not mean, however, that marijuana is safe for pets in your home. Dog marijuana intoxication can pose serious risks to your four-legged friend and may require a visit to your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital to resolve issues related to the consumption of marijuana products by canine companions. Here are some of the most important points to remember if you suspect dog marijuana intoxication may be affecting your beloved pet.
Dogs Have More Receptors Than Humans
Cannabinoids, including the chemicals found in marijuana, attach to receptors in the brain to produce their relaxing and pain-relieving effects. Because canines have many more cannabinoid receptors than humans, the same relative dose of marijuana can have a much stronger effect on your dog. This can result in serious side effects that could affect your pet’s behavior and health.
Cannabis Can Cause Neurological Symptoms
Some of the most common signs of dog marijuana intoxication are neurological in nature. Your dog may seem disoriented, overly hyper or may stumble or stagger when they walk. A lack of bladder control is another symptom to watch for when you suspect that your dog has consumed marijuana. Dilated pupils, excessive barking and whining, drooling and vomiting are other common symptoms of dog marijuana intoxication.
Dogs may also show signs of slower breathing, lethargy, disturbances in heart rate and blood pressure or changes in their general body temperature. While these symptoms typically do not last very long, they can pose real threats to your dog while they are ongoing. Seeking veterinary attention at your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital is the best way to address issues with possible cannabis consumption by your beloved canine companion.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
If you believe that your dog may have consumed or inhaled marijuana, careful observation of your pet is usually the best way to determine whether immediate veterinary help is needed. Most cases of cannabis consumption by dogs result in temporary disorientation or mild symptoms. In some cases of dog marijuana intoxication, however, more serious side effects are present and can lead to seizures, tremors or even coma in some animals.
Calling the staff at your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital as soon as you notice any of the warning signs of marijuana intoxication in your dog can help you to prevent the most serious complications of marijuana consumption. It is of critical importance that you be honest with your veterinarian about the likely cause of the symptoms to make sure that your dog’s treatment is targeted to the correct issue. Informing your veterinary team that your dog may have ingested marijuana can save time and prevent mistakes in treatment that could otherwise occur.
Understand the Treatment Options for Dog Marijuana Intoxication
In most cases, you can wait out the symptoms of cannabis intoxication in your dog by providing plenty of water and observing behaviors closely. Contacting your veterinarian or Fort Lauderdale animal hospital right away can provide you with added peace of mind and can ensure the best treatments for your beloved pet. Some of the most commonly recommended or prescribed treatments for cannabis exposure in dogs include the following options:
- Rest and relaxation in a safe and controlled environment is often an effective treatment for dogs who have consumed only a small amount of marijuana. Keep a close eye on your precious pooch to ensure that his or her condition does not worsen. Time is a reliable cure for most cases of dog marijuana intoxication.
- For more serious cases, your veterinary team may recommend a visit to the office for monitoring and treatment. Activated charcoal is often used to absorb and neutralize toxins and may be administered by your Fort Lauderdale animal hospital to treat cannabis intoxication.
- Your veterinarian may also attempt to induce vomiting if your dog has eaten marijuana. If this is unsuccessful, your dog’s care team may recommend pumping the dog’s stomach to remove marijuana from the system.
- Fluids may be administered intravenously to provide added help in managing the most serious effects of cannabis intoxication.
Prevention Is the Best Option
If you keep marijuana products in your home, you should treat these medications in the same way you would treat any other drugs and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. This can help you to prevent injury to your dog and can promote the best health for you, your family members and your pets now and in the future.
At Family Pet Medical Center, we treat your pets like family. If you need help with dog marijuana intoxication or any other issues related to the health of your dogs or cats, give us a call today at 954-567-2500 or visit us online to schedule an appointment or to touch base with our team of veterinary professionals. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.