Canadian Dogs Developing Drug Problems

So how do you do a doggie intervention? This article comes from Goldstream News Gazette. Region's drug problem gone to the dogs By Brennan CLARKE...

Drugs Land Dogs In The Hospital

So how do you do a doggie intervention?

This article comes from Goldstream News Gazette.

Region’s drug problem gone to the dogs

By Brennan CLARKE

Remember that old Saturday Night Live spoof about puppy uppers and doggie downers?

It turns out that memorable sketch was merely a case of art imitating life 30 years before its time.

According to a recent front-page article in the Vancouver Province, a growing number of “cranked-up canines” are being rushed to Lower Mainland veterinary hospitals for treatment after consuming drugs left lying around by their owners.

Vancouver vets say marijuana is the drug of choice for wayward pups who stray toward the dark side, although one animal doctor reported treating dogs that have ingested cocaine, ecstasy, hash brownies, prescription medications and even heroin.

That’s right. Vancouver is rife with stoned spaniels, toking terriers, drug-addled Airedales and half-baked bloodhounds.

I might have passed this story off as a piece of cheap sensationalism, except it was written by former Black Press reporter Matt Ramsey, who five years ago sat in this very chair.

Given the high quality of reporters who have used this work station over the years, I’m inclined to give Matt the benefit of the doubt.

If our four-legged friends are succumbing to the lure of illicit substances, we should sit up and take notice, for this is a problem that begs to be nipped in the bud.

If, on the other hand, we roll over and pretend its not happening, it’s an invitation for the problem to escalate.

What starts with a nibble can quickly morph into a bad habit and the next thing you know, your pet is hanging around downtown, wearing a red bandanna, listening to gangsta rap and text-messaging drug orders on his Blackberry.

Thankfully calls to local vets failed to uncover a widespread doggie drug problem in Greater Victoria.

“We don’t see tons of it. In a year and a half I can count on one hand where it has been a marijuana ingestion,” said Sharon Bartlett of Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital, which specializes in emergency medicine for pets.

“We’d be the first one to put it out there if we thought it was a problem.”

It’s possible that Lower Mainland dogs are just more “metro” than Vancouver Island canines.

But it’s still a concern on the Island, where laid-back Labradors might be inclined to experiment with alternative lifestyles.

The Province article suggests that dogs who live in houses with marijuana grow-ops are unwittingly chowing down on their owners’ crops, but perhaps this is merely a convenient way of hiding their addiction. That and they lack the opposable thumbs to roll a joint and flick the lighter.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.

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