Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keep Fido Out Of The Brownies
Marijuana Can Kill Your Dog

Our husky-lab Budha as a puppy.

Toking Up for the Holidays?
As marijuana is legalized in certain states for recreational and medical use, I would venture to guess that some of you will be toking up for the holidays or adding that special ingredient to your favorite holiday baked goods (perhaps there's some hope for that dreaded fruit cake after all.) Of course common sense would tell you to keep all alluring edibles away from the children, but what you may not know is that marijuana is very toxic to dogs. It's also dangerous for cats but most cats are finicky and wouldn't eat it, although they could inhale it.

I opened this morning's Press Democrat (our local newspaper here in Sonoma county) to find my friend Diane Szczepanski on the front page with her dog Rae who became terribly ill after ingesting marijuana at the fairgrounds. Unfortunately there were two events this weekend there. The canine agility competition (which is what Diane and her dog were participating in) and the Emerald Cup, the world's only outdoor cannabis competition. After her "potty walk" around the fairgrounds, the dog appeared a bit out of it. After getting home, Rae fell deathly ill. In the emergency room, they diagnosed the problem as marijuana toxicity.

Diane Szczepanski with her border collie Rae
from the Press Democrat article.

Signs of Marijuana Poisoning in Pets
Symptoms of marijuana poisoning are:
* glassy-eyes
* stumbling and incoordination
* dilated pupils
* vomiting
* urinary incontinence
* lowered body temperature and heart rate
* coma or seizures

Treatment and Recovery
Charcoal is often administered to absorb the toxins and IV fluids are administered. Ventilator support and hospitalization are required when critical. It can take pets 18 to 36 hours to recover. If severe cases are not properly treated, your pet could die.

Add Marijuana to the List
Three years ago I wrote an article on Foods to Avoid Feeding your Dog. Since those foods include chocolate, macadamia nuts, and raisins, any of these foods in marijuana edibles would certainly add to the toxicity if ingested by your pets. Pets can also be sickened by inhalation of the smoke. 

So if marijuana is on the menu this holiday, keep it far away from the kids AND the pets!

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