The B.C. SPCA is warning the public about the dangers of pets and cannabis, after a puppy who ate some became seriously ill.
Vancouver SPCA branch manager Jodi Dunlop said a woman and her mother brought 11-week-old Bear in last Monday, saying they had taken him for a walk and that he was unusually tired.
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She said staff immediately suspected he’d consumed cannabis, and after watching him closely, rushed him to the clinic for emergency treatment.
“By the time we got there, the puppy was unconscious,” she said.
“We did a tox screen right away because that was our first suspicion — was to do a toxicity test, and it came up positive for THC.”
Bear came around and became active again after about three days, she said.
Dunlop said it’s not clear how the dog ingested the cannabis. She said the owner surrendered the dog, and did not reply when the SPCA reached out to her again.
Bear has since been adopted out, and the SPCA is appealing for donations to help cover the $2,730 cost of his emergency care.
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But she said the agency wants to send a clear message to pet owners now that cannabis is legal, with THC intoxication becoming more common.
“We’re seeing them in some cats. I’ve seen it in a bird, a budgie — it actually ate some of the plant itself,” she said.
“Our big thing is don’t be embarrassed by it. If you suspect your animal has eaten anything, just let us know right away — because I mean this little puppy, we lucked out that we felt that something wasn’t quite right. We think otherwise it could have been left in our kennels and died.”
Dunlop said the SPCA is encouraging people to take the same types of precautions around cannabis as they would around prescription medications, and to ensure they are never left in a place where a curious pet can access them.