Marijuana (Pot, Cannabis, THC) Effects and toxicity in dogs

Review of Cannabis Effect and Toxicity in Dogs

The recent legalization of marijuana for treating people has increased the effects of marijuana (pot) and its toxicity to dogs. In fact, according to the animal helpline hotline, the number of visits to veterinarians and calls to animal hotlines was poisoned by marijuana exposure and toxicity.

Marijuana, also known as “pot,” is a psychoactive drug obtained from a cannabis plant that has been around for hundreds of years. The term marijuana most often refers to a tobacco product made from cannabis leaves. There are two widely discussed cannabis plant species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Cannabis is used for both recreational and medical purposes.

The cannabis plant has about 483 known compounds and more than 80 cannabinoids, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the most potent and psychogenic. The amount and concentration of each cannabinoid varies according to different plants and plant spots.

THC is present in the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Hashish, another product containing THC, is a resin extracted from a plant. The second most widely known cannabinoid is cannabidiol, commonly referred to as “CBD”. The difference between THC and CBD is that THC causes psychotropic effects (affect thinking), while CBD has limited toxicity and is not psychotropic.

The cannabis plant is also known as hemp, but more often refers to strains with less psychogenic properties due to the minimum level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In humans, THC is sometimes used to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy, help with muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, to treat convulsive disorders, and much more.

Learn more about the medical use and possible toxicity of CBD oil for dogs here.

Unfortunately, due to the illegal nature of these drugs and concerns about social stigma, diagnosis and treatment are sometimes postponed. This raises the question – what does your vet do if you introduce a dog with illegal exposure to drugs?

How does marijuana affect dogs?

Dogs are usually exposed to marijuana when they consume cigarettes, dried leaves, or pastries containing marijuana. There are also reports of passive smoking that causes intoxication. Sometimes owners may intentionally give marijuana to their pets in order to “see what is happening.”

With legalization, there are many varieties of marijuana, as well as many forms. Cannabis can be consumed by eating a variety of foods, including candy, chewing candy, suckers, pastries, oils, and when smoking or evaporating.

When inhaled or ingested, THC is ingested and binds to neuroreceptors in the brain, including norepinephrine, serotonin dopamine, and / or acetylcholine. This binding alters the normal function of the neurotransmitter.

Signs of Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs

The most common side effects of cannabis toxicity in dogs are depression, lethargy, lethargy, loss of motor coordination or balance (stumbling), incontinence, low heartbeat, low blood pressure, respiratory depression, pupil dilation and glazing, vocalization such as crying or whining, excitement, drooling, vomiting, convulsions and coma. Some dogs may experience hallucinations and sensitivity to noise or quick movements.

A stereotypical dog that is presented to a veterinary clinic for possible exposure to marijuana is lethargic, lethargic, stumbling, glazed in front of the eyes and may drip urine.

One danger with marijuana is that vomiting is common, and if a dog has deep lethargy and begins to vomit, aspiration of vomiting into the lungs can lead to serious breathing problems and even death. This is relatively rare.

Symptoms of exposure can begin as quickly as from 5 minutes to 12 hours after exposure. Symptoms can last from half an hour to several days, depending on the amount and type of ingested.

Cannabis toxicity in dogs: how toxic is marijuana?

THC is easily stored in the body’s fatty tissue, including the liver, brain, and kidneys. The liver metabolizes it, and most of it is excreted in the feces and urine.

The good news is that marijuana exposure or taking is rarely fatal, and long-term complications are rare. The toxicity of marijuana is low. In order to be fatal, it takes about 1.5 grams of marijuana per pound of body weight. Therefore, death from the use of marijuana is not common.

The most serious problems associated with exposure to marijuana or swallowing it in dogs are associated with high concentrations of medical-grade THC.

Diagnosis of cannabis toxicity in dogs

The diagnosis of ingestion or exposure to marijuana in dogs is often based on physical examination results and a history of exposure. There are urine tests to determine the presence of THC. Human tests can be used, but are not reliable on dogs.

Cannabis treatment for dogs

There is no antidote against marijuana. This means that treatment of exposure to marijuana usually involves trying to eliminate the drug in their system, eliminate secondary symptoms, and provide support until the drug is removed from their systems.

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