To improve understanding of cannabis poisoning in pets, Amissah and colleagues analyzed survey data from 251 Canadian or US-based veterinarians conducted in 2021; The survey included questions about incidents of cannabis poisoning experienced by the participants in the previous few years.
Statistical analysis of survey responses showed that the number of cannabis poisoning cases increased significantly in both the United States and Canada following the 2018 legalization of cannabis in Canada. Unsupervised ingestion of cannabis is the most frequent cause of poisoning, but it is not clear what proportion of cannabis products are taken for human consumption compared to that used as medicine for pets. The authors note that the post-legalization increase could be explained by increased cannabis use, but increased reporting may also be contributing.
Cannabis poisoning is most commonly seen in dogs, but cases have also been reported in cats, iguanas, ferrets, horses, and parakeets. While most cases are benign, the symptoms observed — mainly seen in dogs — include urinary incontinence, disorientation, and an abnormally slow heart rate. Most of the animals received outpatient follow-up treatment, and nearly all animals made a full recovery.
In rare cases, veterinarians have reported that pets have died from cannabis poisoning, although the researchers note that other potential causes, such as other medical conditions, cannot be ruled out. basis, cannot be excluded in the study. With the use of cannabis products continuing to increase, they call for more research into the effects of cannabis on pets to help inform veterinary efforts and policies to keep pets. strong.
The authors add: “This is an important topic to study in light of the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada and across many states. First to understand what it looks like; here’s what it looks like. We were hoping to gain with this survey and believe that the findings will help us better handle this under-researched topic.”