Cannabis and your pet!

With the upcoming legalization of cannabis, I was called this week for an interview with 730 CKDM.  I have to admit, I had been putting it off learning about cannabis and our pets, but being asked to give an interview, kinda forced me to take a few minutes to look over the information.  (The interview should air on 730 CKDM on Monday June 4, 2018.)

Cannabis has been used by people for many, many years and there has never been a single reported death in humans resulting from its use or abuse.  However, there have been at least two confirmed deaths in dogs that ate baked goods containing medical grade marijuana, as read in the MVMA press release on the topic.  Dogs, it seems are much more sensitive to the effects of cannabis than people.  Safety studies have not been completed for dogs and so we do not know what types of dosages might be safe for dogs, or how effective it is for various conditions.

No safety studies + known increased sensitivity to cannabis = No Recommended Use.

There are no licensed products available for pets.  My recommendation would be that until there are safety studies in place with established dosages that are safe, to avoid cannabis use in dogs including treats, CBD oil and whatever other variations there are.  Depending on the condition you are interested in treating with your pet, there are licensed and safe products available and should be chosen during a consultation with your veterinarian.

If you have marijuana in the house, and you think your dog or cat might have been exposed, please do not leave out this valuable information when consulting with your veterinarian.  Help us to do the best job we can for your pet by giving us complete information.  Some signs of cannabis toxicity include severe disorientation, tremors, twitching, vomiting and leaking urine.  Sometimes they are presented to a veterinarian completely unresponsive, and in a comatose state and could be left affected for several days.  If you suspect your pet has been exposed, please consult with your veterinarian.

Please do NOT ask us to prescribe cannabis for your pet.  It is not licensed for pets, and veterinarians are not licensed to prescribe it.

To keep your pets safe, please keep any stash you have at your house in a safe place and absolutely prevent your pet from ingesting any brownies or any other source of cannabis.

Author: Roxane Neufeld

Veterinarian/Owner of the Dauphin Veterinary Clinic and the Ste. Rose Veterinary Clinic. I graduated from WCVM in 1998, and have been in Dauphin since 2001. I live, work and play in the Parkland with my husband and 2 daughters, and of course, our 2 dogs.

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