If you have a dog, you know they love to stick their nose in places it doesn’t belong. Whether it’s your favorite pair of shoes, your brand new couch or anything in between, man’s best friend is not shy about trying to eat anything they can fit in their mouth. These mishaps are typically a minor inconvenience but can turn into a major problem if your furry friend gets into your cannabis stash.
When a dog eats cannabis, they can become confused, disoriented, or worse so it’s important to address the issue as quickly as possible. If you’re wondering what you should do if your dog eats weed, read on for everything you need to know.
Symptoms of Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs
Dogs often love to get into trouble when you’re not around so you may not actually be there to see them tear into your bag of cannabis-infused gummies. However, there are a number of signs that may suggest your dog is suffering from marijuana toxicity.
Clinical signs can develop within minutes to hours of ingesting cannabis and symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Low heart rate
- Dribbling urine
- Dilation of the pupils
- Low or high body temperature
And in some extreme cases, your dog may experience more severe symptoms like:
- Comatose state
Next Steps: Take Your Dog to the Vet
If you suspect that your dog has eaten weed, don’t be scared to immediately take your dog to the vet, regardless of where you live. Your veterinarian is strictly concerned with the health of your pet, not whether or not weed is legal. Be honest and upfront with them so they know exactly what they are dealing with and they’ll know what to do.
In order to assess your dog’s health, they may do a few routine blood tests and decide on treatment from there. They will likely do x-rays or other image testing as well to ensure that your pet did not ingest part of the packaging. Once they have a clear picture of the exact state your furry companion is in, they’ll be able to give you a treatment plan.
Treating a Dog That Ate Weed
In cases where the ingestion is discovered right away, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to prevent the onset of more serious symptoms. However, there’s a small window where this method of treatment will work so that’s not always the case.
In most instances of marijuana toxicity in dogs, symptoms must be treated on a case-by-case basis. Most treatment plans will consist of supportive care, which can include but is not limited to:
- Hospitalization for continued monitoring
- Administration of fluids
- Cardiovascular support
- Regulation of temperature
- Anti-nausea medication
If your dog ate an edible that also happened to contain chocolate, the treatment will be far more aggressive. In dogs, chocolate can cause high heart rates, seizures and sometimes even be fatal, so may try antiarrhythmics, anticonvulsants, fluid therapy and activated charcoal.
Final Step: Prevention
Even though the symptoms and treatment can be scary for you and your dog, most pets recover from marijuana toxicity when treated as quickly as possible. And the best form of treatment is prevention. If you have a dog and also enjoy weed, make sure to keep your stash in a safe place, far away from paw’s reach.