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Acral lick dermatitis is a common, frustrating disease. It is characterized by incessant licking behavior resulting in raised, thickened, ulcerative plaques, most commonly affecting the lower extremities of dogs. Underlying primary diseases, such as allergic disorders (atopic dermatitis, food allergy, flea allergy), orthopedic or neurologic disorders, parasitic diseases (eg, demodicosis), infections (fungal, bacterial), neoplasia or psychogenic disorders (compulsive/obsessive-compulsive disorder), and perpetuating factors (especially secondary infections) drive the itch-lick cycle. Appropriately addressing the primary underlying disorder and secondary infections and addressing any possible behavioral component via behavioral modification and psychopharmacotherapeutics are vital for successful management of this disease.
Accidental exposure to marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products by cats and dogs is increasing in the United States. Marijuana-containing foods, many of which also contain chocolate, are the most common source reported to Pet Poison Helpline.
Marijuana has a wide margin of safety and the prognosis following accidental exposure is good provided proper medical treatment is provided. Poisoning from synthetic cannabinoids may result in more severe stimulatory signs such as tremors, aggression, and seizures compared to marijuana and carries a fair prognosis.
Exposure to large doses of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, may still result in signs consistent with marijuana intoxication, likely due to the presence of THC in poor quality products.
Since THC is a depressant that can suppress the gag reflex, the dog can’t vomit and expel the vomit, leading to respiratory failure, says Dr. Hackett. If the lungs are physically damaged due to aspirating or inhaling vomit, it can take days to weeks for them to heal, and can also be fatal. This can occur secondary to just about any poisoning and is a complication of surgery in any species, including people. In severe cases, a dog may be put into an oxygen case to support respiration, says Dr. Hackett.
Like any medications, overdosing can lead to potential risks for pets. “The most significant is THC toxicity, meaning, essentially, they are high,” Richter says. “Depending on how significantly a pet has been overdosed, the effects of that can be quite long-lasting, even days.” During these episodes, a pet may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect an overdose, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
Life-threatening risks for dogs from medical cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Richter says, adding that toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients.” That said, ingestion of large amounts of marijuana has been fatal in a number of dogs, so preventing overdoses with medical cannabis is still extremely important, warns Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor with petMD.
Because dogs are mammals and have the same cannabinoid receptors as humans (just more concentrated), they can benefit from the use of cannabis. However, because of these concentrated receptors, special precautions must be made.
First, dogs cannot consume moderate to large quantities of THC. Dogs who have consumed moderate dosages of THC have experienced negative reactions. An amount that we may consider low is in fact very high for dogs, as their receptors are much more concentrated.
Dogs who have consumed cannabis with a high (or normal) amount of THC, either on accident (by eating the owner’s medicine/edibles) or purposely (from a bad owner) have shown symptoms of extreme drowsiness, and more commonly in high doses, static ataxia, a condition where the pup cannot maintain equilibrium while stand (keeps falling over, can’t walk). Occasionally, dogs that have consumed large doses of THC have thrown up. If your pup has consumed THC (in the form of an edible, tincture, or otherwise) and is showing any of the following signs, take them to the vet immediately.
CBD rarely reacts negatively towards dogs, and because it does not contain mind-altering properties, can be consumed in much higher dosages without risk of static ataxia or other negative reactions. Countless testimonials and studies have found that the CBD compound can help treat our furry friends. By using a whole plant extract, the pups gain the maximum benefits of the plant without experiencing the negative reactions of a high THC medicine.
Always start low and go slow. You can always increase the dosage, but once your pet has consumed the medicine, there is no going back, so play it safe and start small.
Some CBD products have zero THC. These are still good quality products with many benefits but they have had the THC removed for convenience. These products will have CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBC and compounds like terpenes from cannabis in it.
They just won’t have any THC to be concerned about.
In addition to the benefits CBD can provide to dogs, cannabis can help cats too.
Excellent Feeling Organics Company Suggests 4 drops per 10 lbs of body weight as pet parent / vet sees fit.
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The statement made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficiency of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not meant to treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.