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Published Date: 2018-05-01 12:53:16
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Marijuana, canine - Canada: (AB)
Archive Number: 20180501.5777415
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 30 Apr 2018 8:37 PM MDT
Source: Global News [edited]

Two Edmonton dog owners are speaking out after their beloved dogs recently consumed marijuana on walks and had to be rushed to the veterinarian. For [MW] senior corgis Ringo and George are family members. "They are my life. It was scary."

The trio had just returned from a walk in northwest Edmonton when Ringo threw up. Then the dog couldn't make it up the stairs. "His back legs got wobbly and they weren't supporting him. He became less and less responsive. Then he started having spasms," [RW] said. "He was just super tired and he lost a bit of control of his bladder."

Thinking Ringo was having a problem with his spine, he headed to the veterinarian. "One of the 1st things they asked me was, 'Could he have gotten into marijuana?' and I said, 'No,' because I didn't think so." The vet took some blood samples and then Ringo got sick again. It turns out [the man] was wrong. In the vomit, the vet found the remains of a joint. "He had gotten a 'roach'. It's very concentrated resin. He was having neurological issues as well as he was high as a kite," [MW] said. Ringo's body temperature dropped and he slept for hours, but eventually he perked up. "He was a pretty sick puppy for about 24 hours."

Over in St Albert, [AH] had a similar experience with her 3-month-old golden retriever, Dougie. Dougie also got sick after a walk. He took a nap and when he woke up, he couldn't stand upright. Instead he was swaying and falling over. "We rushed him to the hospital. Quite honestly, he was barely breathing." [AH] thought he'd been poisoned. The vet, though, believed the 25-pound [about 11 kg] puppy ingested marijuana. "The vet asked me twice if I thought the dog had eaten weeds," she said. "That's what I heard, and I couldn't understand why my dog would be eating weeds. My boyfriend later clarified she had asked about weed -- so I felt a bit silly. So it had never even crossed my mind. You're worried. It's a little 3-month-old puppy that you've become really attached to, and you're helpless to do anything."

Dougie was pumped with fluids to flush out the toxins. He spent a full day at the vet, costing [AH] USD 500, but he too made a full recovery.

Though some people give their pets marijuana for medical reasons, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association says no safe dose for pets has been established. "We are concerned about the upcoming legalization," Dr Jocelyn Forseille said. "In the US, where there have been some states where there has been legalized cannabis for a while, they have definitely seen an increase in the number of toxicities in dogs."

Forseille said dogs tend to be more attracted to cannabis than cats. She also said some types of marijuana are more potent than others and can even be lethal under certain circumstances.

If your pet is behaving unusually, she recommends taking them to a vet to get diagnosed. [The 2 dog owners] chose to share their experiences on social media in the hopes that marijuana users will keep their products far from animals. "People need to know that this is harmful to animals. It's not just domestic animals or pets. There's squirrels in the park and there's wild animals and if they pick up this stuff, it's harmful," [MW] said. "With legalization coming, people need to be responsible about their product."

That means finding a garbage [can] that's out of [their] reach.

"You just really have to be aware of where you're tossing your litter. Especially in an area where dogs are going to be -- which is pretty much anywhere," [AH] said.

[Byline: Sarah Kraus]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[As marijuana gets legalised we are certainly going to see more such cases. And if dogs will put tossed joints in their mouths, so will crawling babies. And note that canine cases have been seen in British Colombia too.

As my moderator colleague commented in November, 2012: "This is a serious situation for your animal. It is not funny, it is actually cruel and can be fatal. If a human chooses to get stoned, or high, or use the product for its medicinal value, that is the human being's choice. Dogs and cats do not think that way and do not understand what is happening. Dogs are more often intoxicated or at least more often brought to the veterinarian.

Animals exposed to marijuana demonstrate neurological signs including depression or alternating depression and excitement, falling over/incoordination, hallucinations with barking or agitation, seizures, or coma and death. About 1/3 of exposed animals will demonstrate gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, or drooling. The body temperature can be high or low, rapid breathing with a heart rate that may be too rapid or too slow, dilated pupils, and they may leak urine. These clinical signs can develop within minutes up to 3 hours after exposure. The drug may be eliminated quickly (over several hours), but can be absorbed into fat making signs last for up to 3-4 days.

It is important to get your pet treated as the clinical signs can be life-threatening and pets can and die from this substance." - Mods.TG/MHJ

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:]

See Also

Contaminated marijuana - USA: (OR) pesticide 20161024.4581706
Marijuana, water - USA: (CO) 20160722.4363989
Poisoning, marijuana - USA: (CO) children 20140524.2496715
Foodborne illness - Canada: (BC) marijuana infused food 20140502.2444072
Marijuana candy - USA: (RI) 20140411.2397035
Marijuana, canine - USA (CO) 20121118.1414837

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