ER visits spike for pets consuming cannabis
Veterinarian Caitlin Crain says she's seen a 100% spike in pets consuming cannabis and falling ill.
Dogs and cats have been coming into her emergency room at 404 Veterinary Emergency + Referral Hospital high; with symptoms including irritability, dilated pupils, vomiting and urinary incontinence.
“Walking like they're drunk very sedate,” says Dr. Crain. Often, pet owners are unaware of why their pets are sick.“They’re actually concerned their pet may have had a stroke.”
The Pet Poison Helpline reports a nearly 500% increase in cannabis-related cases. Cats and dogs have been licking or eating candy bars, chews, gummies, teas, oils and butters containing THC. The drug, known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
“Dogs are exquisitely sensitive to THC so very small exposures can result in really sick dogs for a couple of days,” says Crain.
Veterinarians and pet owners are concerned, not just with THC, but more potent drugs like fentanyl being found by pets that could prove deadly for animals.
“To be honest I am very concerned about it. I can imagine the possibility with kids hanging around and leaving roaches or that sort of thing, it could be very problematic for the dog,” says dog owner Brian Queen.
Veterinarians warn owners to properly store and discard cannabis products; keeping curious children and pets safe from potential poisoning.