ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A veterinarian is warning dog owners to be careful with cannabis, saying her clinic is treating about one dog per week for marijuana toxicity.
Dr. Maggie Brown-Bury of the Veterinary Specialty Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador said it’s become common to see multiple dogs at her St. John’s clinic for cannabis toxicity at one time – the center treated three dogs last week alone.
The cases often involve the dog consuming a cannabis product at home, or picking up a discarded joint or other THC product in a public space.
Dogs are especially sensitive to THC, with signs of toxicity including a low heart rate, dribbling urine, difficulty walking, and exaggerated response to a stimulus.
As October’s legalization date approaches, Brown-Bury said she hopes pet owners will become more aware of the symptoms of cannabis toxicity in dogs, and that cannabis users will be conscious of the risks to dogs and small children when in shared public spaces.
In Colorado, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, there was a four-fold increase in reported cases of toxicity in dogs between 2010 and 2015.
Brown-Bury said the level of toxicity depends on the size of the dog, but death is a rare outcome and she personally has not treated a case that severe.
The Canadian Press
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