SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – An increasing number of dogs are being rushed to Bay Area emergency veterinary clinics after eating marijuana intended for human consumption. Experts say dogs left untreated after ingesting pot can suffer serious consequences, including coma and death.
“It’s a drug like any other prescribed drug and (the results) can be very serious,” veterinarian Sean Wells told ConsumerWatch. “We see between two and three cases a week.”
That’s up from about one case a month several years ago.
Other veterinary clinics around the Bay Area report a similar rise.
A study by Trupanion, a company that sells pet insurance, finds California is now the number one state in the nation for marijuana-related pet health claims.
Washington and New York are second and third, respectively. Colorado, where pot was legalized last year, ranks fourth.
Ingesting marijuana can be traumatic for a pooch, according to Dr. Wells.
“They don’t understand. They eat something and now they feel really strange. They feel really sick.”
He says, in most cases, the animal will need to be closely observed and possibly treated with a sedative, like Valium.
And don’t be afraid to take your canine in for treatment. Wells say good vets won’t make a pet owner feel uncomfortable.
“The best case scenario is you’re overly cautious and spend a couple of dollars. The worst case scenario is your pet dies,” Wells said.
As we reported last week, this is an ongoing trend that precedes the approval of recreational drug use in some states. UC Davis said its School of Veterinary Medicine treated 27 dogs for marijuana poisoning in 2013, up from just four in 2010, the Chronicle reported.
In Colorado, a five-year study showed marijuana poisoning of dogs quadrupled after medicinal use of marijuana was legalized in 2000.
The Oregonian reported cases in the Pacific Northwest were on the rise last year, and a Scottsdale, Arizona veterinarian told the local CBS affiliate the number of cases there have doubled over the past few years.