Marijuana toxicosis claims yield insights

Published on June 17, 2015
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While cats aren’t much interested in marijuana, dogs are much more likely to roll in the plant, eat it, and consume unguarded human treats containing the plant, according to one of North America’s largest pet insurers.

Trupanion announced this past April that it had searched its database of claims since 2009 to determine how marijuana is affecting some of the more than 246,000 cats and dogs the Seattle-based company covers. Trupanion reported these findings:

  • Cases of marijuana toxicosis in pets occur nationwide, but most claims per capita are in the two states that first legalized marijuana use: Washington and Colorado. Marijuana toxicosis claims are three times as high there as the average for other U.S. states.
  • The top five states with the most marijuana toxicosis claims are California, Washington, New York, Colorado, and Florida.
  • Trupanion has paid more than $78,000 in claims for suspected marijuana toxicosis as of April 2015.
  • In 2014, Trupanion paid more than $20,000 specifically toward confirmed marijuana toxicosis cases.
  • The typical marijuana toxicosis claim costs about $525 to treat.

Trupanion covers medicinal marijuana for insured pets when specifically recommended by a veterinarian.

“To date, we’ve received less than 10 cannabis treatment–related claims,” Kathryn Clappison, a public relations specialist for Trupanion, told JAVMA News in late May. “From the claims we have received, cannabis products have been used alongside treatments for cancers including adenocarcinoma and nasal carcinoma.”

Canna-Pet, a hemp-based pet product legal in the U.S., was the primary product used, Clappison added.