You know not to get your pet high on purpose, but sometimes your dog finds your stash, or they happen upon an edible “while” “walking” “in” “the” “park” (hey, it could happen). Here’s what to do.
The signs of cannabis poisoning in dogs or cats include walking around drunkenly, drooling, and seeming depressed. (Let’s be honest, though: 96 per cent of the time, that’s just dogs.)
Your pet might also vomit, or have seizures, or you’ll see a slowdown in their heart rate and breathing. These symptoms can also come from other types of poisoning, or other health problems, so don’t be stupid: If your pet is obviously sick, get help.
If you know exactly what your pet ate, and they aren’t showing symptoms yet, call your vet. After hours, there are also 24-hour hotlines. They will tell you how much to worry, and whether you need to go find an emergency vet.
What Happens at the Vet
Be honest about what your pet ate. The vet isn’t there to narc on you, but they do need to know what exactly they’re treating. Weed usually isn’t deadly, but that depends on what your pet ate, and how much. Medical-grade products can contain enough THC to cause death in some cases.
There are two aspects of treatment: stopping your pet from absorbing any more THC into their system, and then supportive care while they wait it out.
So the vet may try to induce vomiting, or in severe cases they may pump your pet’s stomach or administer enemas to try to remove as much of the ingested material as possible from your pet’s digestive tract. They may also administer activated charcoal, a black slurry that can bind and neutralise the harmful components.
A pet who’s too high may have a dangerously high or low heart rate, or fluctuations in their breathing or body temperature, so the vet will keep an eye on their basic body functions and administer medications if needed. In some cases, an anti-anxiety medication may help. Your pet may also be unable or unwilling to eat and drink, so often a pet who goes to the vet for cannabis poisoning ends up needing intravenous (IV) fluids.
In most cases, your pet will be back home with you soon. Show them this video while they wait it out, and in the future, keep your special brownies out of your pet’s reach.