04/29/2014 08:49 EDT | Updated 04/30/2014 12:59 EDT

B.C. Pets Have Most Marijuana-Related Health Claims: Company

Pets in British Columbia have the most marijuana-related health claims in North America, says a pet insurance company.

Trupanion paid over $54,000 to customers in pet health claims related to marijuana toxicity and THC ingestion in 2012 and 2013, according to a press release on Tuesday. The veterinary cost for these claims average about $290, but treatment can sometimes amount to more than $1,600.

The part of marijuana that is toxic to pets is THC; however, pure marijuana has been known to help pets in some cases. Even Trupanion's plan covers the medicinal use of pot for pets to help with pain as well as cancer and tumours.

Signs that a pet has consumed THC include drooling, vomiting, lethargy, depression, impaired co-ordination, and even comas.

Alberta also made the top 10 list of Canadian provinces and U.S. states, ranking fourth and Ontario at sixth.

Earlier this month, Arizona vet Dr. Billy Griswold told KCTV that the number of cases of animals ingesting marijuana over the past few years has doubled.

The same problem is occurring in Colorado, according to ABC News. KCTV reported that the increase in marijuana treatments "directly coincides" with the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, which began at the end of 2012.

Trupanion also notes an increase in pot-related pet health claims within the past two years, stating it "may be attributed to changes made to marijuana regulations and laws across the U.S. and Canada during this time."

Canada's new medical marijuana rules came into effect on April 1. One month in, the laws have already faced problems including the first medical pot recall, which raised questions of the safety surrounding this regulated product.

Top 10 regions in North America with the most marijuana-related pet health claims are:

  1. British Columbia
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. Alberta
  5. New York
  6. Ontario
  7. Colorado
  8. Florida
  9. Virginia
  10. Massachusetts

Source: Trupanion

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