Cases of marijuana poisoning in dogs have increased, particularly in states like California where medical marijuana is legal, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. As one veterinarian put it, our dogs are “munching out.” Dogs are known to be indiscriminate eaters, going after paper, trash, random objects on the street and, now, their best friend’s cannabis. The Pet Poison Hotline, which takes calls from around the country and Canada, noted a 200 percent increase in reported incidents of poisoning in the past five years.
Dr. Lori Green, a critical care veterinarian at the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital, says the clinic treats as many as three dogs a week for symptoms of marijuana toxicity: trembling, vomiting and walking troubles. “There’s been an increase as marijuana becomes more acceptable in public and less of an underworld thing,” said Dr. Karl Jandrey, an assistant clinical professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where the animal hospital treated 27 dogs for pot poisoning in the past year, up from four in 2010. A study in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2012 reported a correlation between the increase in the number of medical marijuana cardholders and the number of dogs getting poisoned. The study found a fourfold increase in cases seen at two Colorado hospitals over six years. All but two dogs – who ate cannabis butter – survived.