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

Happy Easter everyone!

Youngsters are excited for the holiday

UCP candidate Nate Horner triumphs in Drumheller-Stettler riding

Horner looking forward to moving ahead with UCP policies in the coming months

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Trade show fun!

Annual Stettler Trade Show proves a hit with local residents

Stettler residents cast their votes

Polling station closes at 8 p.m.

‘Open for business:’ Jason Kenney’s UCP wins majority in Alberta election

The UCP was leading or elected in 63 of 87 seats Tuesday night

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Most Read