The authors declare no conflict of interests.
Evaluation of trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana: 125 dogs (2005–2010)
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2012
© Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society 2012
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Volume 22, Issue 6, pages 690–696, December 2012
How to Cite
Meola, S. D., Tearney, C. C., Haas, S. A., Hackett, T. B. and Mazzaferro, E. M. (2012), Evaluation of trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana: 125 dogs (2005–2010). Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 22: 690–696. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00818.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 16 NOV 2010
- elicit drug;
To report a correlation between the increased number of medical marijuana licenses and marijuana toxicosis in dogs in a state with legalized marijuana for medical use.
Retrospective case series from January 1, 2005 to October 1, 2010.
Private specialty referral hospital and a university teaching hospital.
A total of 125 client-owned dogs presenting for known or suspected marijuana toxicosis with or without a urine drug screening test (UDST).
Measurements and Main Results
During the study period, 125 dogs were evaluated including 76 dogs with known marijuana exposure or a positive UDST (group 1), 6 dogs with known marijuana ingestion and a negative UDST (group 2), and 43 dogs with known marijuana ingestion that were not tested (group 3). The incidence of marijuana toxicosis presenting to both hospitals increased 4-fold, while the number of people registered for medical marijuana in the state increased 146-fold in the last 5 years. A significant positive correlation was detected between the increase in known/suspected marijuana toxicosis in dogs (groups 1–3) and the increased number of medical marijuana licenses (correlation R coefficient = 0.959, P = 0.002). Two dogs that ingested butter made with medical grade marijuana in baked products died.
A significant correlation was found between the number of medical marijuana licenses and marijuana toxicosis cases seen in 2 veterinary hospitals in Colorado. Ingestion of baked goods made with medical grade tetrahydrocannabinol butter resulted in 2 deaths. UDST may be unreliable for the detection of marijuana toxicosis in dogs.