SPCA warning of dangers of cannabis to canines

Cannabis dangerous to dogs

The BC SPCA is warning of the dangers of marijuana and dogs.

With many taking there four-legged friends to neighbourhood parks there is an increasing concern with pets consuming marijuana butts left on sidewalks and in dog parks.

After her six-year-old cocker spaniel Joey became sick multiple times after picking up and eating joint butts off the ground, Kelowna-area resident Shelley Wood says she keeps a vigilant watch on her pet when out in public spaces.

“On two occasions he must have ingested more than the butt of a joint because he had quite a severe reaction,” she says “Vomiting, losing control of his legs, stumbling, and having what seemed like tiny involuntary seizures.”

Karen Beckmann’s chocolate Labrador puppy, Daisy, had her first incident with marijuana at 10 weeks old. She rushed her little one to the vet where they confirmed the poisoning with a urine test.

“My husband thought she was having a stroke, she was wobbling, her eyes were red and could not walk straight,” she says.

Wood says it’s important for pet guardians to be aware that the smell of marijuana butts can be irresistible to some dogs and if your dog behaves strangely at home, they may have swallowed one on their daily walk.

If your dog is exposed to marijuana – by ingesting it or inhaling secondhand smoke – they may display these symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils or glassed over eyes
  • Loss of balance
  • Whining
  • Breathing problems
  • Agitated behaviour
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Tremors
  • Body temperature too high or low
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Signs of possible toxicity show up anywhere between five minutes to 12 hours after exposure. Depending on the amount of marijuana the dog has been exposed to, symptoms of poisoning can last from 30 minutes to multiple days. Marijuana poisoning is not fatal, but a veterinarian should examine the dog is symptoms are severe.

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