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Dogs are exposed to marijuana through human poop and pet owners should be careful, and study the results

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A word of caution for dog owners: Some canines are clearly poisoned by marijuana by eating the feces of people who have consumed cannabis, according to a new study.

Dogs are a natural scavenger, so their litter-eating instinct – though gross – is just a fact of life. But a team of Australian researchers found that in some cases, this instinct can become dangerous, calling for the attention of young parents.

The study, published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, looked at or observed 15 cases of confirmed THC poisoning in dogs who were suspected of ingesting human faeces in Melbourne from 2011 to 2020.

The dogs showed symptoms of incoordination, dilated pupils, enuresis and stupor. Urine tests of eight of the dogs showed THC metabolites in their system.

However, study author Clara Lawinger told Marijuana Moment that this should not necessarily be taken to mean that any level of THC is toxic in dogs.

“Animals in my study had ingested an unknown amount of faeces containing an unknown concentration of THC and then one could assume that this concentration would be at a level that clearly caused toxicity,” she wrote in an email. “However, this does not mean that every ingestion of THC can lead to toxicity.”

In fact, there are other studies where animals were given a controlled dose of THC and “none of them showed any adverse effects we might see with toxicity,” she said.

“There are a lot of anecdotal reports of the tremendous benefits of administering THC to animals, albeit from the owners’ perception rather than peer-reviewed research, but that doesn’t mean the industry should discount THC as a therapeutic agent,” said Lowinger. “.

It appears that most of the dogs in her new study ate excrement in local parks, while others ate it on the beach, camp sites, and hiking trails.

“All dogs survived the discharge. Ingestion of human faeces containing THC may lead to marijuana poisoning in dogs” study States. “Veterinary staff and owners should exercise caution regarding the use of appropriate hygiene measures when managing these dogs.”

The authors said there are a number of reasons a dog might eat their own feces — or, in scientific terms, engage in baiting. But they put forward one possibility for marijuana’s stool-eating trend: “It is possible that the presence of marijuana in the stool increases its attractiveness for ingestion by changing its odor, texture, and/or taste.”

Also, while this study is limited to data on about two dozen dogs in one city in Australia, the authors also said the habit “may be more common than owners say,” citing Google search results from people who reported that a dog ate feces and showed signs of it. idleness.

The idea of ​​dogs excreting human excrement containing THC may seem like a stretch on its own, but the study also explains that canines have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, “making dogs more sensitive to the effects of THC.”

“In conclusion, this case series suggests that ingestion of faeces produced by human marijuana abusers may lead to signs of marijuana intoxication,” the researchers said. “Clinical signs of intoxication were similar to those previously reported for dogs with marijuana-containing intoxication although gastrointestinal signs were not the most common characteristic despite sepsis.”

“Veterinary staff and owners should be aware of this source of exposure to ensure that appropriate hygiene measures are taken when managing these dogs,” the study says.

Lauinger said that “there needs to be an industry-wide understanding of the fact that there are many different strains of cannabis and each of these strains has different profiles of cannabis that can have beneficial therapeutic effects.”

“These strains can be researched focusing on the appropriate species for animals and at any dose rather than covering all strains as toxic,” she said. “I hope the public can be patient and also support us in researching more potions.”

While there are clear concerns about dogs consuming excessive levels of THC, studies have found promising results when it comes to the therapeutic potential of other cannabinoids such as CBD for pets.

For example, dogs with epilepsy You have much fewer seizures When treated with CBD oil, a study published in Pet Behavior Science in 2019 found.

The year before, a separate study decided that CBD can Reducing symptoms of osteoporosis in dogs.

For its part, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly warned pet owners Using CBD to treat anxiety associated with fireworks In pets around the 4th of July holiday.

“Be aware that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these products and cannot say whether they are safe or effective, how they are manufactured, or whether they contain CBD,” the agency said this year.

Germany to legalize marijuana and boost drug harm reduction, ruling party coalition officially announces

Image courtesy of Pixels.

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