CHICAGO, IL – Veterinarians in Chicago have reported an increase in the number of pets being treated for marijuana poisoning, both inside homes and outside on the streets.
Cannabis can be toxic to pets and can cause serious harm, even death, if consumed in large quantities. According to the pet poison helpline, there has been a 448% increase in cases of marijuana poisoning since Illinois legalized in 2019.
Symptoms of marijuana toxicity in pets can vary depending on the dosage. Some common signs of exposure include lethargy, sluggishness, and significant respiratory and cardiac depression. Some pets may even experience seizure-like activity.
The main concern for veterinarians is that pet owners may be unaware that their pet has ingested cannabis. This can happen when owners accidentally leave their edibles lying around, or when pets find and eat marijuana products while out on a walk, such as leftover edibles in packaging or dried-out marijuana blunts.
To avoid such incidents, pet owners are advised to keep their pot products away from their furry friends and call a veterinarian immediately if their pet is exposed. In most cases, pets can recover quickly from marijuana exposure if treated promptly.
As people continue to enjoy legal marijuana products, it is essential to remember that pets are at risk of marijuana toxicity. Therefore, it is crucial to keep cannabis products out of reach of pets and seek veterinary care immediately if exposure is suspected.