The dangers of pets on pot

Published On: Apr 15 2014 07:50:00 PM HST

Medical marijuana uses are advised to watch their weed, in an effort to keep cats and dogs off drugs. Pot has become a problem for some island pets.

The number of Hawaii's medical marijuana users is growing by the thousands, but it is not just people who are feeling the effects of pot, so are some pets.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' story.

"We recently had two dogs that came in with symptoms of marijuana toxicity and it was confirmed that it was marijuana toxicity," said Dr. Shelby Young Goo, with the King Street Pet Hospital.

Just like humans, animals can have a bad experience from pot. Their symptoms may include dilated eyes, vomiting and difficulty walking.
"They don't know where they are, their heads are bobbling and something seems not quite right," said Goo.

Most owners know chocolate can be harmful for pets, but some feel animals could be helped by the drug. Animals already suffering from symptoms like a low appetites or who are in pain.

"Just like in people, dogs may benefit from an appropriate therapeutic dose of marijuana, but there has not been any studies to show the long-term effect on animals," stated Goo.

High doses of the drug can lead to unusually low heart rates and even seizures in some animals. Too much pot can also cause hyper-activity for days.

Once an animal has eaten it there is no antidote, so the best advice for pet owners is to prevent a pot problem from happening in the first place.

"It should be locked up. We've had animals routinely go through owners bags and purses, when the owners were sleeping," said Goo.

Not all veterinarians have seen cases of pets on pot, but even several who have not admit the number of drugged dogs and cats could be higher. They say that's because owners may not admit marijuana could be the culprit when their animals are showing symptoms of being stoned.

25 facts about marijuana

Click here to see 25 facts about marijuana.


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