It was just last fall that residents here in Washington voted and determined that marijuana should be legalized. However, on August 18, 2013 Dr. Cheri Trisheium said that this legalization seems to have lead to a huge increase in pets being brought in with marijuana poisoning. Veterinarians often warn that although some people may find it entertaining to allow their pet to consume drugs or alcohol that these things can easily and quickly poison your furry friend.
Since the legalization of marijuana Dr. Cheri Trisheium has treated many serious marijuana poisoning cases in her office. When dealing with a marijuana poisoning case she says "they are sort of out of it, they are kind of bobbing, they are easily startled, their eyes are dilated." Although it is rare, death from marijuana poisoning can happen.
Death is just one of many permanent results from marijuana poisoning. The pet can also suffer long term and permanent brain damage in severe cases. Dr. Cheri Trisheium said "in severe cases though, their blood pressure can drop dramatically. They can have all the signs and symptoms of shock." An average cost for treatment for mild marijuana poisoning is $579, the severe cases can run into the thousands.
Accidents happen and it’s important to realize that not every case of pet marijuana poisoning was caused by someone wanting to get their pet stoned. Dr. Cheri Trisheium says "for an owner who sees their dog absolutely altered and not themselves, it can look like seizures to owners, it can be incredibly alarming.” Accidental or otherwise unintended ingestion of marijuana by pets resulting in poisoning is terrifying for both the pet and the owner.
If you think that you pet may have ingested marijuana or any other drug or alcohol and they are showing any signs of an altered state or distress it is important to get them help right away. Remember that your veterinary office is there to help your furry friend. Dr. Cheri Trisheium said "folks are often like, 'No, no, no, there is no way he could have,' even if your friend smokes or uses edible marijuana. We try to let them know that we don't care, we just want to help them with their pet."
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