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Phoenix Animal Hospital Reports More Cases of Pets High on Marijuana

More people have been bringing their pets to Phoenix-area animal hospitals to treat marijuana ingestion, according to a local chain of animal clinics.

According to the Emergency Animal Clinic -- which owns five hospitals across Phoenix, the East Valley, and West Valley -- there's been a pretty sharp increase in such cases over the past few years.

According to the Emergency Animal Clinic, they averaged about six cases a month in 2012, nearly a dozen a month in 2013, and nearly two dozen a month so far this year.

That increase happens to coincide with the opening of medical-marijuana dispensaries in Arizona. Although the voters passed the Medical Marijuana Act in late 2010, due to the regulatory process, the first dispensary didn't open until December 2012.

The company says pets have gotten high from inhaling smoke, eating the dried plant matter, or eating marijuana-infused food products. As you can imagine, these local animal hospitals report seeing more cases of pets eating the marijuana-infused foods, and they're less likely to eat a bag of plant matter.

Reports from other states, including scientific research, indicate that this isn't unique to Arizona.

According to the Emergency Animal Clinic, it's very rare for a pet to die from marijuana exposure, but they can have some negative symptoms:

Signs of marijuana poisoning in dogs and cats include glassy-eyes, stumbling, dilated pupils, vomiting, and coma. Urinary incontinence or urine dribbling is also very common, especially in dogs. Serious effects include changes in heart rate, coma, tremors, and seizures. Effects can be seen for up to 48 hours after ingestion depending on the amount ingested and the size of your pet.

According to one of the Emergency Animal Clinic vets, people have been apprehensive to admit that their pet ingested marijuana, which only draws out the process of diagnosing and treating the animal.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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