Local veterinarians see increase in pets suffering from marijuana toxicity

    Local veterinarians see increase in pets suffering from marijuana toxicity. (WSBT 22 photo)

    Voters in Michigan approved recreational marijuana, and there are already concerns about the impact that will have on pets.

    Veterinarians said they're seeing more dogs come in sick from eating marijuana, a problem people didn't think about.

    When dogs eat marijuana, veterinarians at Magrane Pet Medical Center in Mishawaka say there is no antidote.

    “We don’t have anything to use to counteract it, so it’s a matter of trying to dilute the symptoms and control the dog with medications to keep them from hurting themselves or having seizures,” said Dr. Kathleen Neuhoff-Magrane, Pet Medical Center veterinarian.

    Neuhoff said she has seen dogs come in unconscious, depressed or falling all over the place from marijuana toxicity poisoning.

    Dr. Lindsey Candey said it could even kill them.

    Candey said, “Some that will get really high toxic dose could be so depressed neurologically that they can progress to a coma and potentially death.”

    The problem is they don't fully know.

    They said it's not a knock against anyone who does smoke marijuana legally, but in the past two months they had around six dogs come in to their clinic.

    “Because it has been an illegal compound until recently, there is almost no research on what are the toxic levels for dogs, what are the safety levels, what are the efficacy levels," Candey said.

    Two weeks ago, Candey had two dogs come in sick.

    “Both of the owners have reported that they were having seizure-like activity, acting very neurologically abnormal. Some then progressed to being very depressed in their attitude,” she said.

    Neuhoff-Magrane said she doesn’t believe owners are giving dogs marijuana. She knows dogs are sneaky.

    “We spend hours and hours of taking things out of dogs’ stomachs that shouldn’t in there. So this is no different. They will eat it, especially if they perceive it has a human treat," Neuhoff-Magrane said.

    That's why they urge people to puppy proof their homes.

    “It should be somewhere that is safe and very difficult for your pet to get into,” Neuhoff-Magrane said.

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