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  1. Phungushead
    I’m wondering what might happen if a dog chews on a marijuana plant or eats something with marijuana.

    It may be hard to imagine, but the problem of dogs being poisoned by eating marijuana plants (cannabis) or items made with marijuana has been occurring for many years. As more states legalize the use of medical marijuana (currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia), its presence in homes and gardens is more prevalent.

    Since it doesn’t have to be hidden any longer, it may be left out where a pet has easier access to it. Dogs may chew the leaves of a plant, eat a cigarette made of marijuana or consume brownies laced with marijuana.

    We have treated at least one case of the latter at our clinic in recent months. Emergency veterinary clinics report cases on a weekly basis if not more often in certain states such as California and Washington.

    One study done several years ago of accidental marijuana exposure cases found 96 percent of the patients were dogs, 3 percent cats, and 1 percent other pets.

    The active chemical ingredient in marijuana is THC. When THC in the bloodstream reaches the brain, it results in behavioral changes, but also exerts its medicinal properties of appetite stimulation, pain and nausea control.

    The most common signs developing within one to three hours of a dog eating marijuana are incoordination, slow reflexes, sensitivity to sounds and light, sedation, dilated pupils and slow heart rate.

    Some dogs may become agitated or even have seizures, requiring treatment to tranquilize them. Other dogs may vomit, have low blood pressure and body temperature. Of course the severity of signs is related to the amount eaten and the size of the pet.

    It is important to tell your veterinarian that your pet may have eaten marijuana as timing is critical in treatment. If a pet is presented soon enough (within 30 minutes) a drug can be given to stimulate vomiting of the substance in the stomach and prevent it from causing toxicity. If it has been in the system longer, the act of vomiting will be blocked by the THC.

    At that point the oral administration of several treatments of activated charcoal may reduce the drug’s absorption by the intestinal tract. Intravenous fluids, nursing care to maintain body heat and prevent respiratory problems, and close monitoring are needed.

    Because THC is stored in fat in the body, it may take up to four days to leave the body, while the dog is monitored and treated.

    It is rare for a dog to die from marijuana intoxication, but it has been reported.

    March 21, 2013

    The Capital
    Photo: The Tizona Group

    More info:


  1. hookedonhelping
    Good post and relevant to the times PH!

    Something I did not see, was the mention of giving your dog over the counter hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. As I posted in a related thread a animal medic advised me to do this and it was effective as my dog (now 12 years old) is healthy and lying by my feet as I post this :)
  2. Dankitydankness
    I don't understand how a dog could die from eating weed. I mean doesn't one have to eat or smoke their entire body weights worth of weed in a matter of time for it to be fatal? I guess this only applies to humans and not animals?

    I mean that dog that died from it must have eaten a ton.

    Anyways, good read. I wonder what you can do to help the dog get through a bad trip from consuming pot. I wonder if just comforting the dog and giving it a good back rub or something would stop the dog from freaking out. I would hate to see a dog flipping out because he ate some weed. Poor dog would likely be traumatized if he didn't have someone by him to let him know its gonna be okay.
  3. Rise against
    Thanks for the info, didnt realize that marijuana is capable of harming dogs. just goes to show, what may be safe for humans doesnt mean it is for dogs or other animals. Take chocolate or hops (used in making beer) for example. my dog came very close to death after eating hops.
  4. imyourlittlebare
    I would imagine that cannabis might exacerbate seizures in some. It can increase the release of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, in certain regions. I would imagine in people, its probably dependent on the localization of the seizure activity.

    In dogs, that is interesting. Cannabis has a myriad of effects of multiple NT systems. I wonder if certain dogs are more predisposed, whether the digestion of cannabis by the liver can create some sort of chemical that leaves them more prone to seizures or that is even deadly (or perhaps causes a cascade of peripheral effects at CB2 receptors or the liver digests a particular compound into another that is dangerous where the animal would somehow be poisoned), whether in dogs it just lowers seizure threshold, etc. A lot of questions...Like one of the posters said, dogs can't digest chocolate. They lack a particular chemical to digest it like we do. Im curious to see what researchers find (that is, if they even have a chance to study this phenomenon, replicate it, or whether the find right off the bat that these dogs were predisposed to seizures in the beginning)

    Edit: Pot increases heart rate in humans. This might be a factor that contributes to this described phenomenon. Maybe they are more likely to become dangerously tachycardic while humans are more likely just to have a higher BP rate and either panic or get used to the effects as best they can.
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