Historian of science: Don't get your pets high, people

Laurel Braitman, historian of science and author of Animal Madness: How anxious dogs, compulsive parrots and elephants in therapy show us the wildness of our own minds (forthcoming from Simon and Schuster), interviews the veterinarian Dr. Andrew Springer Browne. Dr. Browne has treated companion animals throughout the United States, studied zoonotic diseases in Kenyan camels, worked at a falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi, holds degrees in veterinary medicine and public health, and has raised bantam chickens since he was five years old.

Laurel Braitman: First of all, can an animal get high on marijuana?

Dr. Andrew Springer Browne: Yes, but I would call it a very bad trip rather than being stoned or high.

Why? What are the signs in, say, dogs?

The main clinical signs in dogs are low body temperature, dilated pupils, increased sensitivity to noise and movement, being unsteady on their feet, and dribbling urine. The animals are usually distressed and whimpering or howling. With really high doses they are collapsed, breathing slowly, with a very slow heart rate, and are barely responsive. This can last 24 to 48 hours. Usually they survive....

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