Marijuana Consumption Increases Among Animals As Availability Of The Drug Grows

Someone call McGruff the crime dog. In addition to taking a bite out of crime, apparently an increased number of furry friends are now taking bites of marijuana.

As the availability of medical marijuana has increased, so too has the likelihood of animals exposing themselves to it. A recent Durango Herald article documents a distinct uptick in animal ingestion, both through marijuana-infused butter edibles and direct consumption of a plant.

"Dogs love the stuff," Jennifer Schoedler, a Durango veterinarian told the Herald. "I've seen them eat the buds, plants, joints and marijuana in food."

According to a 2002 peer-reviewed study on the subject, Dogs account for approximately 96% of all exposures to the drug, while cats--apparently more likely to just say no--comprise 3%, and other creatures round out the remaining 1%.

Clinical signs of animal ingestion mirror those of humans: difficulty walking and lackadaisical demeanor. Extreme cases may lead to vomiting, urinary incontinence, diarrhea, and coma.

An LA Times article adds that, as a result of marijuana's iffy legal status, many owners hesitate to fess up to the vet when their dog acts funky. More often than not, the marijuana "is always a roommate's or the neighbor's," said Edward Haynes to the paper.

Flickr photo via Chris Yarzab