In a study published earlier this year, the University of Guelph investigated the effects of cannabis legislation on cannabis poisoning cases in dogs. The report found that in states with lower penalties for cannabis use, there was an increase in reports of dog poisoning events. Reporting of cannabis poisonings were more likely to come from vets, rather than dog owners. Often in dog poisoning cases involving narcotics, there is a delay to treatment of the affected animal for fear of being penalised. The research team hope that increased awareness to the public, and the veterinary communities, of the effects of drug exposure on dog populations will help prevent exposure, as well as reducing the length of time until treatment.
In the cases reported to the VPIS, dogs are commonly exposed following ingestion, or accidental inhalation of smoke. The onset of clinical signs is rapid if inhaled (usually within 6-12 minutes), or ingested (30-90 mins). Dogs who ingest a small dose of plant material may recover within 24 hours, but those ingesting larger doses may show clinical signs for several days.
Owners can call Animal Poisonline on 01202 509000 for advice if they are concerned their pet has ingested something toxic. We will be able to advise whether the animal needs to see a vet. Veterinary professionals can call VPIS for treatment advice for any poisons case – 02073055055