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Pet poisoning by marijuana on the rise

By Tracey Leong, tleong@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 22 2014 02:17:00 AM CST
Pet poisoning by marijuana on the rise
ANDERSON, Calif. -

From Trinity County to Shasta County, veterinarians say they’re dealing with marijuana poisoning in pets more frequently.

Nationwide pet poisoning by marijuana has increased by about 30 percent over the last four years, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Dr. Chavon Pryor with the Anderson Veterinary Clinic says this is a serious concern.

“They can eat so much and they can put themselves into a coma,” says Dr. Pryor.

Pets have a tendency of getting into mischief, devouring anything they come across, even marijuana.

“With marijuana intoxication it’s pretty distinct,” says Dr. Pryor.

Dog’s bodies break down cannabis differently than humans. THC is toxic to animals and edible marijuana treats have a higher concentration of THC. Symptoms include depression, sleepiness or excitability.

“Another thing they have is a high stepping gate they will walk really funny and don’t know where their feet are and their eyes become dilated and they bob their heads back and forth,” says Dr. Pryor.

Dr. Pryor sees about one of these cases a week, and certain times of the year more often.

“Needs I.V. fluids or emergency drugs because it’s going into shock and need to put it on steroid doses and all kinds of different things they can become hypothermic and get too cold because of it,” says Dr. Pryor.

Pets rarely die from marijuana poisoning. A majority of the time they make a full recovery. Dr. Pryor urges all pet owners to be honest if it does happen.

“Some of them deny, which please don’t deny because if you tell me it lets me treat your animal properly,” says Dr. Pryor.

Dr. Pryor says the first hour and a half that your pet has ingested marijuana is crucial. People need to get them to an emergency room immediately so they can receive the proper care before they fully digest it. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (888) 426-4435.