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How can a dog get intoxicated with cannabis? What are the toxic doses, and what are the symptoms of cannabis poisoning in dogs? How to react when your dog has eaten cannabis?
How can a dog get intoxicated with cannabis?
A dog can become intoxicated with cannabis if it accidentally swallows it in the form of:
cannabis resin or hashish, consumed as is or mixed with tobacco in a “joint”,
leaves and/or dried flowers (marijuana) of cannabis,
fresh leaves are eaten from a plant grown at home,
hash oil,
of “space cake” or any other food made from Marrakech butter.
More rarely, a dog can be accidentally poisoned by passive inhalation of fumes from the combustion of cannabis products.
Unfortunately, dog poisoning can sometimes be intentional by unscrupulous owners who blow smoke from a “joint” directly into the animal’s mouth.
Why is cannabis toxic to dogs?
If cannabis is very toxic to dogs, it is because of the cannabinoids the plant contains. Of these cannabinoids, the best known and most toxic of them is THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
THC intervenes on receptors present in the dog’s brain and has the effect of:
modify the dog’s motor behaviour,
harm the animal’s cardiovascular system, respiratory system, thermoregulation and central nervous system.
The toxic doses of cannabis are very low for the dog. In other words, little is enough to trigger the first signs of intoxication or even to cause the death of the animal. The toxic dose for dogs is 30 mg of the whole plant per kg, while the lethal dose for dogs is only 3 g / kg of the whole plant.
What are the signs of cannabis poisoning in dogs?
If a dog is poisoned with cannabis, symptoms usually appear between 30 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion or inhalation. They consist of:
neurological disorders manifested by drowsiness, prostration, the appearance of aggressiveness and/or abnormal behavior, tremors, alternating phases of depression with phases of excitement, disorientation and gait disturbances, uncontrolled barking and/or anxiety … In the most serious cases, the dog may have convulsions or fall into a coma,
digestive signs such as vomiting and hypersalivation, and sometimes faecal incontinence,
cardiorespiratory signs such as heart rhythm or respiratory rate disturbances,
an increase or, on the contrary, a decrease in the dog’s body temperature, signs of disorders of the dog’s thermoregulation,
abnormal dilation of the dog’s pupils.
These symptoms can persist for up to 72 hours because THC dissolves in the fatty tissues of the body, making it quite difficult for the body to eliminate.
Cannabis poisoning of a dog: how to react?
If your dog has swallowed cannabis, it is necessary to take him to your veterinarian promptly, regardless of the time of day or night the incident occurred. If you are unable to drive, ask a friend, neighbour, or acquaintance to come with you: your pet’s life may be affected!
If the dog has been poisoned very recently, the veterinarian can then perform digestive decontamination of the animal by making it vomit and administering activated charcoal.
Never try to induce vomiting on your own or on your own without the advice and guidance of a veterinarian. You may then be doing your dog more harm than good.
Usually, the intoxicated animal is then placed under close veterinary supervision during hospitalization at the clinic, during which treatment will be provided to relieve its symptoms. This hospitalization may continue for the duration of the elimination of the toxicant from the animal’s body.
In most cases, when the intoxication is not too severe, the dog will be able to recover without sequelae, but the animal may take several days to recover.


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