Marijuana & Pets

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Pet owners should be aware of the potential risks to their dogs or cats if they ingest cannabis. THC is the component of marijuana that can cause illness in pets, particularly dogs. Please keep all marijuana plants, as well as products and foods containing marijuana, in secure locations such as pet-proof containers and in locked cabinets.

What should I do if my pet ingests marijuana?

Seek veterinary care promptly.  While it's rare for pets to ingest enough marijuana to be fatal, it can happen. Inform your veterinarian what the pet has ingested, as proper treatment can be administered only if the veterinarian is aware of the toxin. Treatment for cannabis toxicity can include decontamination of the GI tract, IV fluids, and anti-vomiting medication. In severe cases, it may include oxygen support, monitoring blood pressure, regulating the pet's temperature, and ventilator/respiratory support.

How can my pet be poisoned by marijuana?

  • Inhalation of the smoke
  • Ingestion of the plant 
  • Ingestion of products containing marijuana or hashish 
  • Ingestion of foods containing marijuana ("edibles"), such as brownies, cookies, candies, oils, and butter. When foods also contain chocolate, the risk of poisoning is increased. Never leave a plate of marijuana-laced brownies or packages of marijuana edibles out where your dog can reach them.

What are the symptoms of marijuana poisoning?

THC is the component of marijuana that causes illness. Symptoms are usually seen within 30-60 minutes of inhalation or ingestion and may include:

  • Glassy eyes
  • Stumbling, lack of coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Drowsiness or agitation, excitement (dogs)
  • Urinary incontinence, dribbling (dogs)
  • Vomiting 
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Coma

Can marijuana or CBD help my sick pet?

Please consult with your DVM before giving your pet any medication, herb or supplement, as there may be contraindications. The efficacy of cannabis and CBD compounds as a treatment for pets is being studied, but it has not been scientifically established, nor has a therapeutic dosage been determined.

Updated: 2017-12-11 08:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association