Warning to all folks who think it funny to give a dog Cannabis. DON"T It can be a terrifying experience for an animal.
TESTING CANNABIS ON DOGS
Through the courtesy of Messrs. Parke. Davis and Co., manufacturing chemists of London and Detroit. Michigan, U.S.A., we are enabled to reproduce a clear pharmacological study of the drug by E. M. Houghton, Ph.C., M.D.; and H. C. Hamilton. M.S (Excerpt from an article in the "American Journal of Pharmacy" for January 1908.) From several samples of Cannabis Americana fluid, extracts and solid extracts were prepared according to the U.S.P., and were tested upon animals for physiological activity.
The method of assay, which has previously been called to the attention of this Society, is that which one of us (Houghton) devised and has employed for the past twelve years. This method consists essentially in the careful observation of the physiological effects produced upon dogs from the internal administration of the preparation of the drug under test.
In applying the test, the standard dose (0.01 gram per kilo weight) (in form of solid extract for convenience) is administered internally in a small capsule. The dog's tongue is drawn forward between the teeth with the left hand and the capsule placed on the back part of the tongue with the right hand. The tongue is then quickly released and the capsule is swallowed with ease. In order that the drug may be rapidly absorbed, food should be withheld for twenty-four hours before the test and an efficient cathartic given if needed.
Within a comparatively short time the dog begins to show the characteristic action of the drug. There are three typical effects to be noticed from active extracts on susceptible animals: first a stage excitability, then a stage of inco-ordination, followed by a period of drowsiness.. The first of these is so dependent on the characteristics of the dog used that it's of little value for judging the activity of the drug, while with only a few exceptions the second, or the stage of inco-ordination, invariably follows in one or two hours; the dog loses control of its legs and of the muscles supporting its head, so that when nothing occurs to attract its attention its head will droop, its body sway, and, when severely affected, the animal will stagger and fall, the intoxication being peculiarly suggestive and striking.
When an active extract is given to a susceptible animal, in the smallest dose that will produce any perceptible effect, one must watch closely for the slightest trace of incoordination, lack of attention. or drowsiness. It is particularly necessary for the animals to be confined in a room there nothing will excite them, since when their attention is drawn to anything of interest the typical effect of the drug may disappear.
Previous to the adoption of the physiological test over twelve years ago, we were often annoyed by complaints of physicians that certain lots of drugs were inert; in fact some hospitals, before accepting their supplies of hemp preparations, asked for samples in order to make rough tests upon their patients before ordering. Since the adoption of the test we have not had a well-authenticated report of inactivity, although many tons of the various preparations of Cannabis Indica have been tested and supplied for medicinal purposes.
At the beginning of our observations careful search of the literature on the subject was made to determine the toxicity of the hemp. Not a single case of fatal poisoning have we been able to find reported, although often alarming symptoms may occur.
A dog weighting 25 pounds received an injection of two ounces of an active U.S.P. fluid extract in the jugular vein with the expectation that it would certainly be sufficient to produce death. To our surprise the animal, after being unconscious for about a day and a half, recovered completely. This dog received. not alone the active constituents of the drug, but also the amount of alcohol contained in the fluid extract. Another dog received about 7 grams of Solid Extract Cannabis with the same result. We have never been able to give an animal a sufficient quantity of a U.S.P. or other preparation of the Cannabis (Indica Arnericana) to produce death.