Recent Articles

Recent Comments

« | Main | »

Pot and your pooch

By Hempology | November 20, 2005

If Fido is a bit too mellow, he might be nibbling on someones drug stash. Dogs have been getting high on B.C. Bud for years, according to several local veterinarians who have treated pets who have ingested marijuana.
The number of pot pooches has not yet reached the point where some dog barks sound suspiciously like bow WOOOW! or lava lamps are more fascinating to them than chew toys


At least, not yet in Victoria.
Veterinarian Shelley Breadner estimates she sees several a year, while Nick Shaw doubts hes treated more than four or five stoned dogs in more than two decades in practice.
Its a little different on the Lower Mainland, according to John Brocklehouse, deputy registrar of the B.C. Veterinary Medicine Association. He says one Lower Mainland emergency veterinary clinic reports one to four cases a week. Occasionally even a cat, he adds. However, there have been no cannabis-related deaths, says Brocklehouse. Theyd have to eat a helluva lot, says Shaw, speculating on what it would take before a canine OD-ed on marijuana, but that could change with any reconfiguration of street cannabis.
I dont know what will happen if we see marijuana laced with crystal meth, worries Shaw.
Its not just pot that should concern pet owners, but prescription drugs legal or otherwise. Breadner has treated a dog who had ingested a narcotic painkiller of a type popular on the street. It required three-daystreatment in the clinic, including IVs, to counteract significant liver and blood changes.
Pot ingesting pooches react somewhat the same way their pot-smoking owners do, according to Breadner.
Mostly theyre stoned. Theyre zoned out, and dont respond to anything, she says about dogs who have discovered someones drugs.
But comparisons to their lovers-of-theleaf owners stop there. I dont think they want to go down to the corner store for Pringles, quips Sharron Bartlett, veterinarian technician and office manager of a Victoria clinic with 24-hour emergency pet service.
To make the diagnosis, veterinarians mostly rely on the owners to own up, although sometimes marijuana is seen if vomiting is induced.
Most people will be forthright if their animal is at risk, says Bartlett. Breadners sole concern is the animals health and not any illegal drug possession. She says patient/doctor confidentiality exists even at a vet clinic.
However, owners dont always connect their pups sleepy behaviour with marijuana. Victoria veterinarian Kam Brar once asked a couple if it was possible their intoxicatedlike dog had got into something.
They looked at each other and said Omigawd! says Brar, who didnt push them further.
Breadner has had cases where those presenting the dog to her were unaware of cannabis even being their home. It then becomes a family rather than a veterinary matter for them to later resolve.
Apparently a poochs passion for pot is about as explicable as any other canine craving. Why do dogs eat knives, string? Some dogs will eat anything, says Breadner. They explore with their mouths.
Labrador retrievers are particularly prone to eating anything, says Bartlett. Theyre so curious and mouth-oriented because theyre retrievers.
Plastic pill bottles are no challenge to a chewing puppy. Stashing a fragrant stash under a mattress or the back of a closet isnt good enough, according to Breadner. A dog can sniff them out. Instead, she recommends dog owners keep dangerous substances out of their pets reach in the same way they would childproof their homes.

Topics: Articles | Comments Off

Comments are closed.