In Humboldt, Dogs Are Getting Sick from Eating Marijuana

Vomiting, seizures, losing bladder control -- this is what befalls dogs with canine marijuana toxicity. It's a growing problem in California's pot hotspots.


California’s booming marijuana industry is sickening — to dogs, that is. Dogster’s resident vet, Eric Barchas, has treated hundreds of dogs for marijuana intoxication.

Large numbers of dogs suffering serious symptoms — vomiting, seizures, staggering around, losing bladder control — are brought into veterinary hospitals in the counties where pot production is highest, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. And the numbers are rising. A Sonoma County vet quoted by the newspaper reported seeing as many as 10 cases of canine marijuana toxicity per month, while a Humboldt County vet sees at least one case every day.

“We see more cases than anybody in the world,” says Joe Humble. “We’re well known up here” for pot-growing and everything that comes with it. “It’s kind of an embarrassment.”

Humble told the Press-Democrat about a dog that was brought to his clinic, “limp and unresponsive,” with a dangerously low heart rate.

The dog’s mouth was full of baking soda. The owner thought that was what had made the dog sick, “but it turned out it first had eaten a bag of marijuana-laced cookies. Marijuana food products can pose particular problems [for dogs] because they taste good and contain concentrated amounts of pot.”

A case of the munchies had driven the dog to eat baking soda. Marijuana toxicity is far less commonly seen in cats because cats are notoriously picky — and thus far less likely than dogs to gorge themselves indiscriminately.

Treatments for canine marijuana toxicity include induced vomiting and the administration of activated charcoal and antiseizure medications.

“Animals find pot to eat in a variety of places. They may find discarded marijuana while on a walk, at a neighbor’s house or in an ashtray in their homes. … Owners also have been known to administer medicinal marijuana to their pets, erroneously believing that what alleviates their ailments will help their pets,” according to the Press-Democrat.

Now there’s yet another good reason to totally stash your stash.

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