Pot-eating pups suffering dizzying to deadly side effects: BC SPCA

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna dog gets sick after eating marijuana'
West Kelowna dog gets sick after eating marijuana
A West Kelowna dog is recovering well. However, last week the puppy was on the verge of death after eating marijuana. Her owners are sharing their story of how a trip to the park turned into a trip to the vet. – Jul 2, 2018

Along with marijuana legalization has come an unexpected side effect, according to B.C.’s SPCA.

Discarded joint butts are being sniffed out and snarfed up by pups on paths and in parks.

One of the people to learn that lesson the hard way is Kelowna-area resident Shelley Wood, whose six-year-old cocker spaniel, Joey, has become sick multiple times after picking up and eating butts off the ground.

“On two occasions he must have ingested more than the butt of a joint because he had quite a severe reaction,” Wood said.

“Vomiting, losing control of his legs, stumbling and having what seemed like tiny involuntary seizures.”

Wood said she learned 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.

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The results, she said, can be shocking.

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna dog owner urges caution puppy eats marijuana at local park'
West Kelowna dog owner urges caution puppy eats marijuana at local park

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 she could not walk straight,” Beckmann said.

Dogs exposed to marijuana by ingesting it or inhaling second-hand smoke may display a range of symptoms, from whining to 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.

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The BC SPCA said the size of a dog also plays a role in how exposure to marijuana affects them, with smaller dogs being at greatest risk because of their faster metabolism.

The risk of marijuana poisoning in dogs ranges from moderate to fatal. Dogs, according to the BC SPCA, have a larger number of cannabinoid receptors in their brain compared with humans and therefore may be more sensitive to the toxic effects of THC than humans.

If a dog has been exposed to marijuana, call a veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately, the BC SPCA warned.

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