CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More Americans are using marijuana and it turns out it's not uncommon for pets to accidentally consume it.
- While veterinarians say the impact of consuming marijuana is usually pretty minimal they do recommend getting them into a veterinarian office
- As states have started legalizing marijuana there have been more cases
- Veterinarians aren't required to report people who bring in a pet who's consumed marijuana
“Often their pupils are dilated and you can tell they appear to be under the influence of something,” said Urgent Vet Pet Clinic Dr. Jim Dobies. “Mostly young dogs, whether it be brownies or gummies or any other type of eatable product, if it tastes good to a human it's going to taste good to a dog.”
While veterinarians say the impact of consuming marijuana is usually pretty minimal they do recommend getting them into a veterinarian office.
“We induce vomiting and then administer activated charcoal which helps to bind to the toxin and get it out of the system,” Dobies said.
Dobies said he gets a couple cases a month but nationally there's been a spike.
Dr. Mike Toper is the president of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and said as states have started legalizing marijuana there have been more cases.
He said the number of calls to the Pet Poison Helpline for accidental marijuana consumption is up 448 percent over six years.
“You should go to either you primary care vet or an urgent vet,” Dobies said. “I would not wait until everything is okay especially if you're seeing side effects.”
He said if those facilities aren’t open owners should take their pet to an animal hospital.
But there is the argument, just like for humans, that marijuana could have benefits for animals.
Toper said the evidence isn't clear but he wouldn't be surprised if it's eventually legal for vets to prescribe it.
“It's just a matter of time, however the legal structure around marijuana use is done nationally,” Toper said.
Until then vets recommend humans who have marijuana to secure it so pets can stay clean.
Dobies said veterinarians aren't required to report people who bring in a pet who's consumed marijuana.
Toper said the majority of cases are animals who accidentally consume marijuana but there are some cases where humans intentionally give it.