Vets say medicinal cannabis could one day be a big help for family pets
‘Dogs like the smell of cannabis,’ Sudbury veterinarian says
As of April 1, you can legally buy weed in Ontario pot shops. Recreational cannabis has been legal since last October. And medicinal marijuana has been allowed since around the year 2000.
But what about pets?
Darren Stinson, a veterinarian at the Chelmsford Animal hospital in Chelmsford, Ont, says they have seen high pooches before, but that's usually through accidental consumption.
"There is no legal pathway for veterinarians to be able to dispense it or prescribe it to a pet," Stinson said. "We're hopefully on it now because we do believe that there probably are benefits to it, but we don't have dose rates for it and we don't have an approved product for it either."
I think the dog ate your stash
Stinson said cannabis products could eventually help pets with pain relief, epileptic seizures, and other health issues, the same way that people have reported its benefits.
The process to get dosage levels tested could take years, he said.
In the meantime, people are being asked to keep their stash away from their pets, just in case. Stinson said the number of cases of high pets has increased since pot's legalization.
"It smells good to dogs," Stinson said. "Dogs like the smell of it and they will eat it if they can get into it."
A high pooch, Stinson said, could resemble an equally intoxicated owner.
"They can get really, really sleepy," he said. "They actually can become incontinent and they can dribble pee all over the place. Sometimes they can have seizures...or some cardiac arrhythmias with it, depending on the dose rate that they receive."
Stinson said he's also had to suggest dog owners have a chat with their teenagers if they deny having any pot after a high pooch is brought in.
"I've had to break it to pet owners that you may want to talk to your kids because I think the dog ate your stash."