Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Veterinary Hospital Open 24 Hours a Day

Cannabis Toxicity and Your Pet

Starting October 17th, 2019, cannabis edibles are legal within Canada. With this new market comes increasing risks to your pet. The majority of cases of cannabis ingestion cases are dogs (98%), but felines and other pets have also been reported with the assumption that this will only increase as the number of products available increases. Over the past six years, the Pet Poison Helpline as experienced a 450% increase in calls about cannabis ingestion.

Why are edibles more dangerous?

  1. THC Percentage: Edibles tend to have a higher THC concentration, with the assumption that the consumer is dosing themselves correctly and only consuming a small amount to achieve the desired impact. When presented with a delicious treat, your pet while probably consumes everything available, including the packaging.
  2. Type of Cannabis Product: Edibles such as brownies, cookies and other baked goods are made with cannabis butter/oil a concentrated product from infusing cannabis plants with butter resulting in a small quantity of concentrated butter. Other products such as gummies and chocolate bars can also be made with oil products such as hash oil, shatter or wax, which is highly concentrated and can contain between 60-90% THC.
  3. Other Toxic ingredients: Edibles can also contain other ingredients that are toxic to your pet, the most obvious being chocolate. Other toxic ingredients you might find include Macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, currants, caffeine and xylitol.

What to do if your pet consumes edibles?
If you are unsure but suspect your pet as consumed edibles, it is best to contact the vet immediately, as time is an important factor when trying to induce emesis in your pet. It would apply in situations where you left your pet at home and came back to them having chewed or destroyed the packaging. In most cases, you will not know your pet has consumed edibles until they start to show signs of intoxication. Once the symptoms are present, it is important to seek medical attention to provide monitoring and supportive care such as fluids for your pet.

Signs and symptoms of cannabis toxicity include:

  • CNS depression: slow breathing and heart rate, loss of consciousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Urinary incontinence (dribbling urine)
  • Glazed expression
  • Other but less common signs include vocalizing, vomiting (most common with ingestion of cannabis plants), hypersalivation, hypothermia and seizures (most common with synthetic cannabis such as spice).

Please bring any information or packaging from the product with you to your appointment. The concentration of THC in the product is very important information when determining the proper treatment for your pet. As this is a completely legal product, we do not judge and treat these cases with the same discretion and professionalism as any other ingestion case.

Written by: Keshia Osmond, VA



What You Should Know About Onion and Garlic Toxicities in Pets

Many people don’t realize that onions and garlic are toxic to pets.  It is so sparsely known that garlic powder is actually a dangerously common ingredient in some homemade dog treat recipes found online.  They are also very common ingredients in many different dishes that we humans love to make, so we need to be extra careful to not allow our pets to ingest anything containing these ingredients. No more licking the plate for Fido and Fluffy!

Read More
See All Articles

COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed-waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902-225-7543. We will bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet to your car and take care of any needed medications and payment.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets only. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. With dramatically increased demand and dwindling supply, combined with supplier purchase limitations, we are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in obtaining many pet foods. Although we remain in stock of many of your favourite foods, and continue to order our daily maximum allocation, we regret that we are forced to temporarily suspend special orders. Please continue to call us and we will do our best to fill your needs with food we have in stock, but we can no longer guarantee supply on all brands. We are monitoring this situation daily and will advise when this situation has eased. At this time most drugs and over the counter products remain unaffected. For food and prescription pick ups, please call us to prepay and advise us by phone when you arrive at the hospital to pick up. We will meet you at the front of the building to deliver your order. We do also have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at 4 Paws 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital