Stoned dogs; pets with pot poisoning

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Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 10:47am

Vets around the Puget Sound area are now really worried about more and more animals getting stoned.

Believe it or not, vets around the Puget Sound area are now really worried about more and more animals getting stoned.

I'm an emergency doctor here

Inside Renton's Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services Clinic Dr. Beth Guerra sees everything from broken bones to upset stomachs. But recently we are seeing quite an uptick with marijuana toxicity with mainly dogs but occasionally cats and I think it is coinciding with the legalization of marijuana in this state.

Last year her two clinics saw 35 cases of pets with pot poisoning.

This year they've already seen more than 35 cases and it"s only July.

So it's really something on every vet's radar at this point

Guerra says dogs either find an owner's stash or pick up the remnants of a joint or pot brownie dropped on the sidewalk.

Most of the time, she can figure out they're stoned quickly, because the dog can't keep it's balance, is either really tired or really hyper and can't control its bladder.

The treatment usually costs 2-3 hundred dollars-including making the dog throw up and giving it some activated charcoal to soak up the toxins.

But in severe cases we will see dogs that seizure or severe depression respiratory depression these dogs might need more aggressive supportive care.

That treatment could include costly tests and an overnight stay with the vet.

In very rare cases the dog could die.

Guerra says avoiding this frightening situation it all comes down to being more aware of what your dog gets into and being honest with your vet after the fact.

I tell people even if you think it's well hidden they'll find it.

This situation for dog owners can become very costly if they're not upfront with their vet and refuse to accept their dog got into some pot.

Then what happens is a vet has to cover all the expensive bases of poison testing to make sure the dog will be ok.

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