Warning to Dog Owners: Cannabis
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - March 11, 2018 (LSN) Today we were camping in Kootenay National Park. Carl had just come back from hiking down to photograph Marble Canyon and I sent Manny, our French bulldog, out to join him for a quick walk. Carl came back furious at Manny for eating something he found on the trail, but I wasn't really concerned because he often tries to get away with eating wild animal scat. I fed him his dinner and then we sat down to eat ours.
Manny was dozing off, so I lifted him up onto the bed where he wouldn't be underfoot, but when I went to get him a couple of hours later, I couldn't wake him. I lifted him up and he went rigid in my arms, head thrown back, eyes staring and front legs extended. He seemed to be having some type of neurological episode and I have seen these type of symptoms in dogs that have been poisoned.
There was no cell service where we were in the mountains, so while I held Manny quiet on the bed, Carl drove us down to the highway junction. From there I called a vet in Banff who, when I said I suspected poison, told us we would be best to drive right through to Calgary for the specialized treatment he might need.
We arrived at one in the morning to find the staff waiting for us and they whisked Manny away for vitals and observation. An hour later the vet came to tell us that based on his symptoms and her experience she believed that he was suffering from poisoning - poisoning from eating marijuana! The only possible place he could have found pot was along the trail - butts, edibles, a stash??
Manny will most likely make a full recovery, but it could have been a tragedy. With the prevalence of marijuana use now, both medical and recreational, extra precautions must be taken to keep pets and children safe!
Dogs can get high a few different ways:
1. Ingesting marijuana leaves/buds directly
2. Ingesting food laced with marijuana (cookies, butter, etc.)
3. Secondhand smoke
Below is a list of the affects of marijuana on dogs:
- Breathing problems
- Lower blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Loss of balance
- Urinary incontinence
- Startle reflex
- Spastic movements
Thank you to:
Dr John Williamson
Bow River Veterinary Centre
Dr Zoe Williams and the great staff
Fish Creek Pet Hospital
By: Catherine Cummins