Pets should be considered in cannabis bylaws, says vet

Dr. Lana Keating and her husband Tim warn recreational marijuana toxic in dogs

With the coming legalization of marijuana looming closer and closer, Dr. Lana Keating and her husband Tim are warning pet owners about the dangers of the substance.

Dr. Keating and Tim own the Parkland Veterinary Hospital in Sylvan Lake and say they have noticed more and more pets, particularly dogs, coming in sick from ingesting the plant.

“Dogs are more susceptible to the toxicity in marijuana,” said Dr. Keating. “We are seeing an increase in dogs coming in sick from it.”

The concern is with recreational marijuana, not medicinal, Tim explained.

Recreational cannabis is the concern when it comes to pets because it has large quantities of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound.

THC is toxic in pets, most particularly in dogs, whereas cannabidiol (CBD), found in medical marijuana is not as toxic.

“The strains react differently in animals than they do in humans. In the case of THC it results in the animal becoming very sick,” said Dr. Keating.

With an increase in the use of marijuana expected after July 1, when legislation is passed to legalize cannabis across the country, veterinarians are preparing themselves for an expected increase of sick dogs.

The effects of THC could happen within minutes of ingesting the product, or it could take a few hours for symptoms to appear, according to Dr. Keating.

“You may not know right away if your dog is sick or if it ingested marijuana, that is part of the danger,” Dr. Keating said.

Symptoms pets have displayed after ingesting marijuana include: increased salivation, increased urination, tremors and possibly coma.

In very rare cases recreational marijuana could be fatal in pets.

Treatment for pets who have ingested the plant is entirely supportive care, including placing the animal on an IV.

“There is no cure for this. We bring them in and care for them until it passes,” said Dr. Keating.

Dr. Keating says the main problem with marijuana is when the pet ingests the plant. With the legislation stating residents are allowed to grow up to two plants in their house, the possibility of a pet getting into it is very likely.

“I would suggest keeping the plants somewhere your pets can’t get at them. Up high or out of the way are options,” she said. “People know their pets best, so caution is definitely recommended.”

Caution is also required around pets while smoking or vapping the product. Just like children, pets are affected by second hand smoke as well

Bird especially are affected by smoke, of all types.

“Cats are affected by marijuana, though not as much as dogs. This is simply because cats or more discerning of what they eat,” said Dr. Keating.

Both Dr. Keating and Tim have concerns over the legislation and land use bylaws in municipalities.

According to the provincial legislation, no distribution centre can be within 100 metres of a school, park or hospital.

The Keatings are concerned animals are not mentioned within the legislation.

“Distribution centres cannot be within 100 metres of a park or hospital, but what about a animal hospital?” Tim said.

“These animals are greatly effected by marijuana and should be considered in the bylaws as well.”

The two would like to see Sylvan Lake’s land use bylaws include animal hospital and dog parks on the list of set backs.

Dogs are likely to eat something off the ground, including a butt from a marijuana joint.

“Really anywhere with animal in regular attendance,” said Tim adding places like kennels and doggy day cares should be given consideration.

Both have given their input to the Town through the online survey, which is now closed.

They say they will be present for the Town’s open house on April 11, which will go over the findings from the cannabis survey.

“Let’s not forget about our pets, they are part of our families too,” said Tim.



megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Check out this week’s What’s Up Wednesday

A weekly recap of the week in news

WATCH: Red Deerian receives award for aiding RCMP officer in arrest

Lonnie Amundson, rugby player, tackled a fleeing suspect to help ailing officer

Man threatens to kill partner, kids, dog

This is a very serious offence: Judge

RDC’s annual Fine Wine & Food Tasting takes place this week

Event brings together some of the best vendors of beverages and food from across Central Alberta

WATCH: Red Deer’s latest ‘Ghost’ statue unveiled at Servus Arena

‘The Face-off’ is the 11th ‘Ghost’ in the notable bronze series

Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare program, but cost an issue

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says she fears costs could be far higher than $19 billion

Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Humboldt Broncos tribute concert aims to bring 30 NHL players, alumni

Juno Award winners Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel and Jess Moskaluke to perform at event

Trudeau government rejects Liberal MPs’ call for decriminalization of all drugs

Legal drug model in Portugal wouldn’t work in Canada, federal health minister says

WATCH: Central Albertan receives award for aiding RCMP officer in arrest

Lonnie Amundson, rugby player, tackled a fleeing suspect to help ailing officer

Canadian drug mule sentenced in Australia for cocaine cruise

Melina Roberge, 24, pleaded guilty to smuggling 95 kilograms of the drug in suitcase

At just 20, Henderson on pace to being most decorated Canadian pro golfer

Brooke Henderson is looking to three wins as one of the most successful professionals in her sport

Most Read