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What To Do if My Dog Ate Weed
Weed has been around for a long time, but as laws around its legality change, it is becoming increasingly common in households across the United States. As weed becomes more common, the number of people calling into veterinary clinics saying, “My dog ate weed,” is also increasing.
This may be in part because the way that many people keep marijuana is changing as well. Instead of being hidden away and primarily in raw form, many people are leaving marijuana edibles right on their kitchen counters. The increase in weed overall as well as increased edibles that may be more accessible to household pets is increasing the incidence of dogs getting into their owners' weed supplies. Here's what you need to know about what to do if your dog has eaten weed.
Is Weed Bad For Dogs?
Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, which makes the effects of weed more intense for dogs and can create toxicity much faster than it can for humans. Every dog is different.
Some dogs will suffer severe symptoms after consuming the same amount of weed that causes mild or no symptoms in another dog. Weed varies in potency as well. Medical-grade marijuana often contains a much higher concentration, which makes toxicity from medical-grade marijuana much more likely.
If My Dog Ate Weed How Long Will it Last?
The effects of marijuana intoxication on dogs are generally relatively brief, as dogs typically have faster metabolisms than humans and will process the marijuana fairly quickly. However, the length of effects for individual dogs varies dramatically depending on the dog, the weed, and how much was consumed.
Can Dogs Get High?
If your dog has eaten weed and you are wondering, “Is my dog stoned?” the answer is not entirely clear. Dogs do not experience weed in the same way that we do. Dogs generally have neurological effects as a result of eating weed.
These effects appear to be very stressful for the dog, and there do not seem to be positive effects such as what humans may experience. Dogs typically become uncoordinated and may become disoriented and hyperactive.
Some dogs become extremely vocal and frantic. Pupils made dilate and excessive drooling, as well as vomiting, is common. Many dogs develop urinary incontinence. Dogs that are most severely affected will have seizures and can even go into a coma or die.
My Dog Ate Weed - Now What?
If your dog has eaten weed, the best thing to do is bring them to the veterinarian immediately. It is impossible to know how your particular dog will react, and waiting to find out can result in serious health consequences for your dog. Furthermore, processing the weed is an extremely unpleasant experience for your dog, which you would surely they'd rather not have to go through.
If your dog has consumed weed very recently, your veterinarian can induce vomiting. This is a very safe procedure that will eliminate the weed before it can be metabolized by your dog, stopping symptoms before they begin. A drug is administered to initiate vomiting and another to stop vomiting, and your dog is unlikely to show any negative effects except for perhaps slight nausea afterward.
Sometimes, the drugs that typically would induce vomiting are not effective. Weed naturally inhibits vomiting, which may stop the drugs from working properly. In this case, especially if it is known that a large amount of weed was consumed, your veterinarian may pump your dog’s stomach to remove the weed.
Activated Charcoal and/or Enemas
If your dog consumed weed some time ago or if it cannot be brought up when your veterinarian induces vomiting and it is not of a sufficient amount to cause your veterinarian to feel the need to pump the stomach, activated charcoal can be administered every 6 or 8 hours.
Activated charcoal can neutralize the toxin and reduce the effects. Enemas may also be used to reduce the amount of the toxin that may be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
Depending on how your dog is responding to the weed, your veterinarian may also provide supportive care until effects wear off. Medications can regulate your dog's heart rate, body temperature, and respiration.
If your dog is lethargic, IV fluids may be administered to prevent dehydration and improve blood pressure. Dogs that are experiencing extreme anxiety as a result of weed intoxication may be given anti-anxiety medications. Many dogs need to be confined in a safe place so that they do not hurt themselves because of their disorientation and lack of coordination. It is best if dogs are kept in a quiet place with minimal stimulus.
What To Do if My Dog Ate Edibles?
Edibles can result in special problems outside of the typical issues found with dogs eating weed. Dogs often consume considerably more edibles than they would weed, since the other ingredients in edibles make them more enticing to dogs than weed itself.
Furthermore, edibles made with medical-grade marijuana are often stronger than the typical marijuana plant itself. Finally, edibles may contain other ingredients that are also dangerous to dogs, such as chocolate or artificial sweetener.
If your dog has eaten edibles, bring a sample and packaging with you to the veterinarian so that they can analyze it for other potential toxins. Even a very small amount of the artificial sweetener Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs and can be fatal.
Chocolate affects different dogs differently, but some dogs become extremely sick or even die from very small amounts. Dark chocolate is typically more dangerous than light chocolate. Other ingredients that may be present in edibles like grapes or raisins can also be extremely toxic to your dog. To be on the safe side, let your veterinarian know everything that may have been in an edible.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Consuming Weed
The best way to keep your dog from consuming weed is to treat any products that consume weed like potentially dangerous drugs. Keep them in locked containers that your dog is unable to access.
Never leave smoking paraphernalia where dogs may access it and keep any edibles in the refrigerator or in cabinets where dogs can't get to it. Even if your dog does not typically counter surf or interfere with things left on your coffee table, don't take a risk when it comes to weed.
Be in the habit of always locking up weed when it is not in use. Supervise your dog carefully when you are smoking or consuming edibles. Your dog can very quickly grab a pipe or piece of marijuana from the table when you're not looking and consume it before you have time to get it from them. It may be best to keep your dog in another room when you are consuming weed.
Don't Be Afraid to Bring Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Many people are worried about admitting to their veterinarian that they have weed in the house, particularly if it is not legal in your area. You may be tempted to avoid going to the veterinarian until you see severe symptoms or lie about what your dog has ingested.
However, it is critical to be honest with your veterinarian and let them know exactly what your dog has consumed. Even if you aren't certain about what is causing symptoms in your dog, let your veterinarian know of everything that could be at fault, including any marijuana in the house.
Your veterinarian’s priority is caring for your dog. They are not concerned about whether or not you are breaking the law in having marijuana in your possession.
Can Dogs Become Intoxicated From Marijuana Smoke?
When it comes to marijuana intoxication, dogs eating weed is not your only concern. Dogs may also be affected by marijuana from secondhand smoke. Dogs have sensitive lungs that can be damaged by any kind of smoke, including marijuana smoke.
Therefore, it is very important that you not smoke around your dog or blow smoke at your dog. Make sure the house is well-ventilated if you smoke inside and put your dog in another room while you are smoking.
What About Dogs Consuming CBD?
CBD has been an increasingly popular remedy for dogs for all sorts of issues, from dietary problems to seizures. It is important to recognize that CBD oil is a compound made from Cannabis that is distinctly different from marijuana itself. There has not been sufficient research to determine conclusively whether CBD is beneficial to dogs or not, but anecdotal evidence indicates that high-quality CBD designed for dogs and made by reputable companies does not have the same negative consequences as marijuana consumption.
Keep Your Dog Safe From Accidental Weed Intoxication
Weed intoxication can be very dangerous for your dog, so it is essential that you keep edibles, marijuana, and smoking paraphernalia away from your dog. If you suspect that your dog has consumed weed, bring them to the veterinarian immediately for potentially life-saving treatment.
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What to do About Reverse Dog Sneezing
Reverse dog sneezing, or backward sneezing, is also known as paroxysmal respiration. While it isn’t dangerous, it can be startling for people and dogs. When a dog reverse sneezes, they pull air into the nose, rather than pushing air out of the nose as would occur in a typical sneeze. Generally, dogs make a snorting sound, often quite loudly, often described as a honking sound, like the sound a goose might make.
Your dog may appear to be trying to inhale while they are sneezing. Dogs often stand very still and their head and necks may be extended. It may sound as though the dog has something caught in the throat. The episode may last several seconds or up to a minute.
What Causes Reverse Dog Sneezing?
Reverse sneezing occurs when a dog's soft palate is irritated. No one knows exactly what causes dogs to reverse sneeze rather than sneezing normally. Any irritants that would typically cause a normal sneeze can cause a dog to reverse sneeze. Here are a few of the irritants that may be likely to prompt a reverse sneeze:
- Nasal mites
- A runny nose
- Seeds, grass, or pollen
- Perfume or cologne
- Cleaning products
- Air fresheners
- Pulling on a collar
- Eating or drinking quickly
Which Dogs are Most Likely to be Affected by Reverse Sneezing?
Reverse sneezing seems to be more common in dogs with very long noses. It may also be more likely in dogs that have very short snouts, known as brachycephalic breeds. Reverse dog sneezing in small dogs seems to be more common as well.
Is Reverse Dog Sneezing Dangerous?
While it can be quite startling and even a bit frightening to see a dog reverse sneezing, especially if you aren't accustomed to it, there is nothing to be worried about. This condition isn't harmful to the dog and doesn't cause any short or long-term negative effects. While it may be startling to you and even to the dog at first, you both will likely soon get used to it.
How to Stop Reverse Dog Sneezing in Dogs
There is generally no medical treatment for reverse sneezing. If your dog is sneezing very frequently, treatments for allergies or a cold may be prescribed. Your veterinarian should also check to make sure there is not a mass in the nasal passage that is resulting in the reverse sneezing.
If a mass is resulting in the reverse sneezing, your veterinarian will likely recommend that it be removed, as allowing it to continue to grow could impair breathing significantly. They are likely to also recommend that the mass be biopsied so that you will know whether it is benign or cancerous.
If it's an allergy that is causing your dog’s reverse sneezing, your veterinarian may recommend that you have them tested to find out which allergy is triggering the problems and to either isolate them from it or treat them for it. Sometimes your veterinarian may prescribe a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, or antihistamine to treat the underlying allergies causing the reverse sneezing.
Antibacterials or cough suppressants may be prescribed to treat reverse coughing as a result of a cold.
If your dog seems bothered by their reverse sneezing episode, it may help for you to hold the dog's nostrils closed for an instant and lightly massage the throat. This may cause the dog to swallow, which can stop the spasming that results in the reverse sneeze. It's also a good idea to move the dog somewhere with cleaner air to eliminate the possible irritant.
If your dog seems to reverse sneeze more often when you are walking them by a neck collar, you may want to use a harness instead. Choose a harness that fits low on the chest so that it doesn't put pressure on the throat where it may trigger reverse sneezing.
If reverse sneezing often occurs after your dog has eaten or drank, you may want to slow down their eating or drinking. Feeding from a slow feeder bowl or food distributing toy can slow down eating. Sometimes using a water fountain instead of a bowl can cause your dog to drink more slowly and ingest less air while they drink.
What Might be Mistaken for Reverse Dog Sneezing?
Reverse sneezing is harmless, but some conditions that can be easy to mistake for reverse sneezing may not be harmless and may actually be quite dangerous. If you aren't sure whether your dog is reverse sneezing or suffering from something else, it is a good idea to take a video if possible to show your veterinarian. Here are some of the things that may be mistaken or reverse dog sneezing.
Dogs often cough for the same reasons that people might, because they have a cold or because they have dust or debris in their nose. However, sometimes dogs cough for more sinister reasons. Here are a few of the reasons that dogs may be coughing that you should look out for:
- Kennel cough. Kennel cough, also known as Bordetella, is a common and highly contagious disease. This is why kennels typically ask that dogs who are boarding are vaccinated against it. Kennel cough is characterized by a deep, honking cough that may easily be mistaken for reverse sneezing. As long as your dog is eating and drinking normally, they will usually recover by themselves, but some dogs need antibiotics or cough suppressants.
- Heartworms. Heartworms are a very serious infestation that can cause a significantly reduced quality of life and even death if they go untreated. They can be prevented with a monthly heartworm preventative, but without it, it is very easy for dogs to be infected with heartworms when they are bitten by mosquitoes. Heartworms cause a repetitive, deep, rhythmic cough that sounds similar to reverse sneezing.
- Heart disease. Heart disease can weaken the lungs or cause fluid in the lungs, which can cause coughing, often a very deep and honking coughing that may be mistaken for kennel cough. Medication can improve a dog's prognosis of dealing with heart disease and sometimes surgery is an option as well.
- Lung infections. Infections of the lungs can cause repetitive coughing. Dogs may sometimes get bronchitis or pneumonia. They can also aspirate debris which can cause lung infections. Sometimes lung cancer is to blame. an infection of the lungs can cause repetitive coughing and sometimes very deep coughing that sounds like backward sneezing.
A dog that is choking makes gagging and choking sounds similar to reverse sneezing. They often stretch out their neck and arch their back in a way that is fairly similar to a reverse sneeze. Dogs are typically very distressed while choking. They may paw at their mouth and drool.
They may also gag or retch. Dogs that tend to reverse sneeze may do so while they are choking, along with other symptoms.
Tracheal collapse can cause a persistent, harsh cough that sounds like a goose honking, very much like reverse sneezing. It is often triggered by pressure on the throat from a collar or immediately after drinking or eating, similar to how reverse sneezing can be triggered.
However, tracheal collapse typically causes much more regular and consistent coughing. It occurs when the rings of cartilage in the trachea flatten out, making it difficult for air to move through the lungs.
Small breed dogs like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, and Toy Poodles are more likely to experience tracheal collapse, but it can occur in any breed. Tracheal collapse can sometimes be treated medically to make breathing easier, or it may be treated surgically. Reducing your dog's weight and never putting pressure on the throat can also reduce the symptoms of tracheal collapse.
Have Your Dog Checked Out if you are Concerned About Reverse Sneezing
Whether you feel that your dog is reverse sneezing more than they ought to be or whether you are not sure whether it is in fact reverse sneezing or something else that is causing your dog’s symptoms, it is a good idea to have your dog checked out by OKC Vet Campus. We can determine whether your dog is reverse sneezing or whether they're displaying symptoms of something else and treat them appropriately.
Create a Sensory Garden
Dogs are predators they need to hunt! When we boil it down to the basic needs: dogs need to gather information with all four senses. They need to hunt/explore to feel emotionally balanced and satisfied – even if they are simply hunting butterflies and exploring a shrubbery it is stress relieving and fulfilling. Even the most dedicated couch potato uses their nose, eyes, ears, and tongue to gather information throughout the day.
When a dog (or cat) comes into the clinic, we like to give them a minute to sniff, explore, and gather information about their new environment. This helps bring their stress and arousal level down so that they are more compliant and happier during their visit.
Just imagine if you could create a whole garden designed to encourage your dog to use his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and touch to explore an exciting smorgasbord of scents, sounds, textures, and things to taste.
It is easier than you think! It doesn’t matter how little or how large your space – you can incorporate as little or as much features as you’d like!
Let's Get Started
Observe your dog’s favorite activities and design your garden around these activities.
Do they like to sunbathe? Is playtime in open areas a priority? Do they like to dig? Do they love water? Do they love tunnels and dense forest?
Use this information to sit down and plan out an area based on their likes/dislikes. Incorporate some new things to encourage your dog to try new things too. You can even plan out your garden with this online tool:
Get to work planning out areas designed around each sense (Think like your dog, what would they enjoy?):
Plant colorful plants, tall grasses and plants with varied textures, heights, etc. Incorporate tunnels, small winding paths through plants and shrubs, etc. Install bird houses and bird feeders to encourage bird watching.
(Make sure to check your plants against this toxic plant list put out by UC Davis Veterinary College):
Plants to Avoid:
Tulips and Hyacinth
Lily of the Valley
Chrysanthemums (including Daisies)
For more information on toxic plant effects visit: https://www.ucdavis.edu/one-health/garden-plants-toxic-to-pets
Fill your garden with tall landscaping grasses, and edible herbs such as chamomile, rosemary, mint, catnip, etc. as well as aromatic herbs such as bee balm, lavender, etc. that are safe for your pet to smell as well as nibble on.
Fill your garden with pebbled areas (watch those rock eaters), pavers, stones to climb on, wooden steps and platforms, tunnels, sandy digging areas, water features (keep water free of algae and prevent stagnation).
Don’t forget to allow for flat, grassy areas for sunbathing or playing fetch.
Include wooden wind chimes, water fountains, etc. Place bird houses nearby to encourage birds to nest and chirp beside your garden.
Your backyard will soon be an adventure filled area full of fulfilling and relaxing exploration for your pooch!