The coming legalization of marijuana has the veterinary community concerned.
Veterinarians say secondhand marijuana smoke or edible marijuana products can have serious, and sometimes fatal, consequences.
"We don't know all the side effects that could occur," Carman area Veterinarian Dr. Mark Philippot, says. "We do know over years of having illegal marijuana that sometimes pets accidentally ingest these products... it makes animals quite sick... there is quite the potential risk."
When owners have brought pets in under the influence of cannabis, Philippot explains they can only help control symptoms like seizures, and monitor the animal until the effect wears off. Other times they will pump out the pet's stomach if a fatal dose is suspected.
"There are options, but there's no antidote," Philippot says. "All we can do is provide care and support them until the symptoms wear off."
He notes a side effect of legalizing marijuana is increased communication between pet owners and veterinarians. Often clients are afraid of getting into trouble, or too embarrassed to admit their animal had consumed cannabis.
"There definitely needs to be a talk between clientele and the veterinarian about the use of these products and the issue of safety around their pets."
The drug is expected to become legal across the country in August.