Keep Sweet Toxics from Pets

By Deborah Taylor-French

Last week our dog got sick. He wobbled, swiped the air, jumped too high over things that were merely an inch under his feet. We couldn’t get him to drink any water.

So at 9:30 PM, we drove him to the closest all night veterinarian hospital. Our dog looked terrified, flinching and dodging when we reached out to him. He would not drink water and could not walk.

What Made Our Dog Sick?

I had two guesses. First, I feared he had ingested a toxic pet food and was suffering seizures. My second thought was that he had a serious neurological condition, such as a brain tumor.

Sydney’s best friend, Winnie, cried as we left to see a Vet.

Usually during every car trip, Sydney sits up excitedly, looking out the windows. He loves to bark riding in a car. He loves to go to parks, the beach and new places.

I feel horrible. I can't drink or eat.
Sick as a Dog

But that night, he hung his head on my lap, so like a very sick dog. At moments, Sydney seemed sleepy, but for no reason he would  jerk alert and keep jerking as if going into an epileptic fit.

For several hours, our stomachs clenched while we waited for the doctor’s diagnosis.

THC Ingestion in Dogs is Toxic

Turns out Sydney tested positive for THC.

Luckily, his level tested as a mild level of toxic THC.

The Vet injected water under his skin so he could start to flush the drug out of his body. He only weighs 13 pounds, so a high-level would have meant he had to stay over night and suffer longer. We were so happy to take him home.

None of our family members use illegal drugs. None of us smoke or have friends who use.

In the morning, Marc found two wrappers. Bright and shiny from sweets, used by teens to roll cigars of weed.

Warning Keep Your Pets Away from These Sweet Tobacco Leaves
Warning Keep Your Pets Away from These Sweet Tobacco Leaves

Right now, I am super angry at this new product (aimed at kids). The more marijuana is treated as an okay and legal substance, the truth of the negative effects will be down played.

Keep Your Medical Marijuana from Pets

If you are a chronic pain sufferer, I can sympathize. I share your condition. I don’t use your baked “medicine” so please don’t drop your baked goods or ends of smoked weed on the ground where pets will eat it.

Dogs do not get “high”, in-fact the majority suffer the fear and anxiety of a bad trip.

Eric Barchas, DVM is a veterinarian who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area provides many free resources on his Website, including Marijuana Intoxication in Cats and Dogs. When you click the link, you can create a printable version. 

Should Shiny Colorful Smoke Sweets be Sold for Children?

  • “Swisher Sweets come in a variety of flavors including many fruit flavors and other sweet flavors. The flavoring comes from natural and artificial flavors and is located in the paper wrapping of the cigar or cigarillo. Because advocates argue that these flavors might make these tobacco products appealing to children, legislation was passed in 2009 that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded powers to regulate flavored tobacco products. As of 2011, only flavored cigarettes have been banned. Because of its flavored wrappings, Swisher Sweets have long been popular with marijuana smokers, who remove the tobacco from the cigar and refill the flavored paper with marijuana.” EHow Swisher Sweet Ingredients

Cannabis poisoning

“Last month, Seattle resident Katherine Evans took her dog Abby on a long walk through the Arboretum and Montlake Playground. Three hours after the walk, Abby was vomiting, stumbling and twitching.”

A veterinarian at Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services, or ACCES, in Lake City told Evans Abby was likely having a serious toxic reaction to eating marijuana, possibly in the form of a discarded joint. Evans doesn’t use marijuana herself, but she has seen leftover joints on the ground in Montlake Playground and thinks Abby probably picked one up somewhere along the walk.

Abby, who Evans said has the stomach of a goat and has been known to eat everything from chicken bones to glass Christmas ornaments, was back to her old self after being treated at ACCES. But, more dogs than ever before are getting very sick from eating marijuana.

Dr. Jennifer Waldrop, critical care specialist at the ACCES clinics in Seattle and Renton, said known cases of toxic reactions to marijuana have increased from two in 2009 to 35 in 2012. And, those are only the cases where vets are certain the dogs ate marijuana. Waldrop said there are many more mysterious toxicity cases where pot could be the culprit.

Waldrop said the increase in dogs eating pot can be attributed to the rise in marijuana use, both medical and recreational. She also said more people are reporting their dogs eating pot now that marijuana use is legal and less stigmatized. And, it’s not just ACCES that is seeing more of these cases. Waldrop said technicians working at other clinics are reporting an increase in toxic reactions to marijuana. Meanwhile, cases in Colorado have quadrupled over the past six years in strong correlation to the number of registered medical marijuana users there. And, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen cases nationwide triple over the past decade.” Komo News Seattle

What does marijuana do to dogs and cats?

“People know that it’s used for medicinal purposes, can be good for some people and is recreational, so they think it’s not a big deal for their pets,” she said. “People don’t leave antifreeze or chocolate on their coffee table, but, unfortunately, there’s not that same caution with marijuana.”

The bottom line? It’s better to be safe than sorry, Hackett said. Pack up the edibles and store them in a safe location — and call if your dog starts showing symptoms of marijuana toxicity.

Many symptoms correlate closely with antifreeze poisoning — a fatal ingestion if not treated right away. If you’re not sure what your dog got into, it’s always better to bring it in, he said.” CSU veterinarian and associate professor Timothy Hackett.

 The Coloradoan, April 12, 2013

Protect Dogs from Cannabis Toxicity

Please spread the word.

By any name, marijuana is toxicity to pets.