Red Deer Vet Treats Doggie OD; Talks of Cannabis Storage Safety

Cannabis Safety Tips for PetsOne vet is talking to the media about cannabis safety to ensure pet owners know the risks of cannabis and their pets. Dr. Katie Graves, of Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital in Red Deer, Alta., has treated at least one dog since cannabis legalization in Canada in October 2018.

“It was in a cookie form, and it was the type of dog that likes to eat everything,” Dr. Graves said.

She induced vomiting immediately because waiting too long can be dangerous. In those cases, Dr. Graves inserts a tube to place charcoal in the dog’s stomach, which prevents the more cannabis from being absorbed into the system.

“Sometimes, they have to stay overnight on IV fluids, but overall, most of the owners we have had brought their pets in right away,” she said.

Luckily in this case, the pet owners knew exactly when their dog ingested the cannabis and rushed to the vet. Dr. Graves hopes that cannabis legalization will lead to greater cannabis safety including seeking medical help right away if their pet ingests cannabis.

“It will be an opportunity to be a little more open about what they’ve gotten into.”

Dr. Graves said that a few dogs have eaten from bags of cannabis, but most accidents occur when they eat cannabis edibles like cookies.

“I think (cats) might be more likely to go after the plants,” she said. “But so far, it’s mainly the dogs with the cookies and brownies.”

There isn’t an established “safe” amount of cannabis for pets. The best cannabis safety policy is to avoid exposure altogether.

Cannabis Safety Tips for Pets

  • Don’t leave cannabis or cannabis edibles out where pets can reach them
  • Avoid making edibles that pets associate with their own treats
  • Store cannabis in a pet-proof container and place container out of reach of pets
  • If growing plants, keep in areas your pets can’t reach — especially for cats
  • If your pet does ingest cannabis, get to the vet as soon as possible since treatments are much faster and easier if pets are treated sooner

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