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NBC 10 I-Team: The surprising reason more pets are being poisoned by pot

Article by Tamara Sacharczyk of NBC 10 NEWS

As more states legalize marijuana, more pets are getting their paws on it.

Veterinarians across Southern New England have seen a rise in cases in recent years.

“We do see probably at least one ingestion a week, but sometimes it’s 10 to 20,” Dr. Shelly Pancoast of Ocean State Veterinary Services said.

Pets that ingest marijuana suffer from THC toxicity, an illness stemming from the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, which is responsible for the psychological effects.

Since dogs have a higher number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain than humans, research suggests they are more susceptible to the toxic effects.

A study recently published in the journal PLOS One, suggests more access to edible forms of marijuana is likely one of the factors behind the increase in pet poisonings, but that’s not necessarily the case in Southern New England.