Pot and your pets

Vet sees po­ten­tial for use of mar­i­juana to help pets

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - BY LYNN CUR­WIN lynn.cur­win@truro­daily.com

Dr. Gwen Mow­bray-cashen is both con­cerned and ex­cited about what cannabis could mean for pets in the fu­ture.

e Truro vet is aware of the dan­gers the drug can cause, but she looks for­ward to its pos­si­ble uses in vet­eri­nary medicine.

“Our big­gest con­cern is, with stigma re­moved it’ll be more out in the open, mean­ing an­i­mals will have more ac­cess to it,” she said.

“In Den­ver, there was a large in­crease in dogs eat­ing cannabis af­ter it was le­gal­ized.”

Pets will eat mar­i­juana, and dogs are also drawn to ed­i­bles. If the ed­i­bles con­tain choco­late or Xyl­i­tol, these in­gre­di­ents can also poi­son dogs.

“Dogs are very sen­si­tive to THC be­cause they have di er­ent neuro chem­istry,” said Mow­bray-cashen. “ ere’s about a four-fold in­crease in e ects.”

Signs of cannabis poi­son­ing in­clude vom­it­ing, a change in heart rate, uri­nary in­con­ti­nence, lack of co­or­di­na­tion, fa­tigue, di­lated pupils, sen­si­tiv­ity to light and sounds, ex­ces­sive drool­ing, and tremors or seizures. If un­treated, it can re­sult in death.

“If you sus­pect a pet has eaten some, get it to the vet as soon as you can,” said Mow­bray-cashen. “ ere’s no judg­ment; we just want to do what’s best for the an­i­mal.”

Vets can en­sure the pet re­mains hy­drated, help main­tain body tem- per­a­ture, and de­crease fur­ther ab­sorp­tion of the drug. Most pets re­cover, but it could take a few days.

Mow­bray-cashen said with more than 400 chem­i­cals in mar­i­juana, the sci­ence around it is in­ter­est­ing and it could hold bene ts for pets in the near fu­ture.

“No cannabis is ap­proved for vets to pre­scribe now,” she added. “Re­search has to be done, and that’s hap­pen­ing now.”

Cannabis should be stored out of reach of pets, in se­cure con­tain­ers.

An­i­mals can suf­fer res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems from any type of sec­ond-hand smoke, so peo­ple are en­cour­aged not to smoke near their pets.

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