Rabbits are herbivores, meaning they get their nourishment from plants and grass hays. But giving them marijuana is a big no for your pet. Although this is classified as a plant, this is a type of cannabis that can lead to serious health issues and problems in your pet’s body.
In fact, according to Michigan State University, the chemical toxin called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) found in marijuana that makes the user high is poisonous to pets, including your rabbit. Even secondhand smoke will still impact them.
But there are times when your rabbit will be curious about the things around them, and if they accidentally eat marijuana, you might wonder what you should do to avoid complications. If you want to find out, keep on reading this article.
Marijuana and Rabbits
Through the years, there has been a fight and advocacy for legalizing marijuana in several states. According to the report, over 21 states are allowed to use marijuana for personal reasons, and 37 states use it for medical purposes. But several animal advocates warn pet owners to avoid giving marijuana to their pets.
Currently, there’s no clear and strong evidence confirming cannabis toxicity in bunnies. Therefore, the concern is still debatable if your pet can be negatively affected by either consuming cannabis leaves or exposure to smoke.
However, the House Rabbit Society stated that books and other research said some animals had been affected by consuming or being exposed to marijuana. These were dogs, pigs, horses, and other small animals. Hence, if you don’t want to have complications and risks for your rabbit, avoid exposure to marijuana.
Marijuana in Rabbits is Against the Law
If you are aware that you’re a marijuana user and you are taking care of a rabbit, do not ever share the weeds with your pet. Although you think that it helps with your personal use, when it comes to animals, it might put their lives in danger. Getting them high is a form of animal abuse. Doing so means you’re violating the animal protection law (if the country where you are has been implementing policies associated with animal care and abuse.)
On the other hand, the American Veterinary Medical Association website reported that doctors in states where medical cannabis is legal are excused from prosecution by state laws for suggesting the scheduled drug to their patients. However, this protection does not apply to veterinarians who might be recommending rabbit keepers give marijuana to their pets.
The legalization of the use of weeds applies for research purposes that will still ensure the safety of animals. But if it leads to complications or other problems, it can be considered as animal abuse, and someone responsible needs to be punished by the law.
Signs of Marijuana Toxicity in Rabbits
If you think your rabbit accidentally eats or is exposed to marijuana, the best way is to look for the signs of possible toxicity. U.S Food and Drug Administration stated that animal toxicity might vary depending on how long they are exposed to toxic food. Cases of mild toxicity, vomiting, and diarrhea are the only issues that can happen to your pet. But in worse cases, early death is also possible.
After eating marijuana, signs of cannabis toxicity can be noticed in your pet 15 minutes to 12 hours following the exposure. The signs can last for 30 minutes to days, depending on the number of weeds their body inhaled. The higher the weed exposure, the more intense and lingering the signs will be. That is why you need to keep your guard up and track the changes in the rabbit. This will be helpful when you go to the veterinarian because you can tell them useful information to provide proper treatment for your pet.
In case your bunnies accidentally ingest your cannabis, watch out for these signs and bring them right away to a veterinarian.
When your rabbit ingests or exposes to some food or things that contain toxic chemicals, it begins to vomit. That is because their stomach acid is disrupted, and their body’s instinct removes the chemical inside by vomiting. However, rabbits cannot physically vomit. But if a poison enters their body, they force themselves to take it out. In this case, you should take them to the doctor to provide the proper medication and procedure.
After exposure, your pet will start to feel weak, and all they want to do is to rest because their body cannot take the intensity of the toxin from marijuana. Severe lethargy can sometimes cause death because your pet will refuse to eat or drink water. If this happens, immediately go to your doctor to avoid further complications.
Your pet will produce a poor texture of poop after ingesting marijuana since its digestive system is not ready for the content from the weeds. You will know that your rabbit has diarrhea because their stools will appear watery and sometimes have mucus. Diarrhea due to toxicity often happens to the rabbit because your pet’s body is sensitive.
Other signs of toxicity are:
- Loss of Appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Increase in Heart rate
- High Temperature
Treatment For Marijuana Toxicity
Though there’s no antidote for marijuana toxicity, especially for animals, veterinarians may provide supportive care to help your rabbit get through the signs of toxicity if they accidentally eat the weed. The veterinarians may regulate the animal’s temperature to ensure they are not extremely cold or hot and provide IV fluids to keep them hydrated, which will also help your pet improve the texture of its stool. Remember, dehydration happens when humans excessively use weeds; the same can happen to your pet when exposed.
Aside from that, veterinarians may give anti-vomiting medicines to prevent fluid loss. They will also monitor the animal’s heart rate to ensure its stability. Since the rabbit may experience difficulty in walking and end up hurting itself.
In severe cases where extreme seizures and tremors happen to your pet, the doctor will recommend keeping the animal confined in a comfortable space to prevent self-injury.
When your pet is experiencing toxicity, they usually respond positively to supportive care, especially if you visit the vet minutes after the marijuana ingestion. However, supportive care will vary depending if your rabbit consumes higher doses. If you will find a vet, ensure that they accept marijuana toxicity because common issues linked to diagnosing, confirming, and treating weed poison in veterinary clinics are results of incomplete history that can be due to the following:
- Drug stigma
- Pharmaceutical products
- Worries regarding legal consequences
It’s best to acquire a comprehensive history and reassure those owners that the veterinary clinic is willing to offer high-quality medical care to your intoxicated pets. Complete and accurate medical history is important.
Food Alternatives For Marijuana
As an owner, foddering your rabbit with the right nourishment and balanced diet is important. After all, food is their main energy source and can contribute to their overall health and wellness. So here is the list of food you can offer your rabbit as an alternative to marijuana.
On the other hand, here is also the list of food that you should avoid along with marijuana:
- Marijuana is unsuitable for your rabbit because it can lead to weed toxicity for your pet. That is because the chemical toxin called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) found in marijuana that makes the user high is poisonous to pets.
- Second-hand smoke, or the smoke that comes from the user of marijuana, is also bad for the health of the inhaler, such as your rabbit.
- There is no strong evidence that marijuana can adversely affect your rabbit, but several studies show that in many cases, animals, after ingesting or being exposed to marijuana, experience toxicity signs.
- After your pet accidentally ingests marijuana, keep an eye on them because the toxicity sign can occur 15 to 12 hours after exposure to the weed. It can last longer depending on the amount of marijuana ingestion.
- Feeding your rabbit marijuana is against the law because it is a form of animal abuse since it can be considered a direct assault for willingly giving your rabbit marijuana.
- Signs of Marijuana toxicity are vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, seizure, loss of appetite, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, and agitation.
- Treatment for marijuana toxicity is still unavailable, especially for pets; the veterinarian will just provide support care to improve the status of the rabbit’s body.
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