J Vet Diagn Invest. 2022 Jan 17:10406387211064269. doi: 10.1177/10406387211064269. Online ahead of print.
Marijuana toxicosis is typically seen by companion animal veterinarians. However, with increased marijuana availability, there is a greater potential for toxicosis in other species. Herein we describe a case of suspected marijuana toxicosis in a female and a male American Mammoth donkey, aged 8 y and 20 y, respectively, fed cannabis buds. Both cases were presented because of depression and lethargy. However, the jenny had ataxia, mild colic, tachycardia, tachypnea, and decreased tongue tone. Plasma samples from the jenny on presentation and 3 d following hospitalization were submitted to the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to be screened for cannabinoids using high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectroscopy (HPLC-MS/MS). A single serum sample from the jack was taken on presentation and submitted to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol analysis using HPLC-MS/MS. THC was detected in all samples. Clinical signs were noted 24-36 h after ingestion, which included mild-to-moderate neurologic deficits, mild colic, tachycardia, tachypnea, and decreased tongue tone. Both donkeys recovered uneventfully within 24 h of peak effects. Utilizing a cannabinoid screening assay in collaboration with a veterinary diagnostic laboratory may be useful when an equine practitioner suspects marijuana toxicosis in a patient.